The World Health Organization has recently declared COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, a pandemic. This disease is transmitted from person-to-person, whether it’s between people in close contact or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Trained and skilled professionals in the restaurant and hospitality industry are accustomed to serving millions of people every day following strict food safety guidelines. However, it’s best to stay up to date with the latest information and ensure your operation is taking precautions to keep your staff, customers, and business safe. It’s also crucial to ensure your operation is providing accurate and reliable information regarding COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a trustworthy source for virus updates. Here are a few of the CDC’s recommended sanitation procedures.
Tips for Preventing Illness in Your Restaurant
- Advise all employees to avoid close contact with people who are sick and encourage them to stay home if they are feeling sick.
- Advise all employees to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze or use the inside of their elbow and immediately wash hands thoroughly after coughing or sneezing.
- Be sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, countertops, sinks, handles, doorknobs, and faucets.
- Ensure disposable gloves are worn when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and discard gloves after each cleaning. Reusable gloves can be used, but should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces for COVID-19 only. Wash hands immediately after removing gloves.
- Owners and operators should contact their state and local health department for the latest information about the coronavirus in their community.
Hand Washing & Food Safety Tips
Cross-contamination resulting from kitchen staff touching contaminated surfaces and then touching food being prepared to serve is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness. According to the CDC, hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Employees should wash their hands before eating or preparing food and after sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose, going to the bathroom, smoking, cleaning, or taking out the trash. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Train employees on when to wash their hands and post information regarding proper hand washing techniques throughout your commercial kitchen or restaurant, especially over hand sinks and in bathrooms.
Proper Hand Washing:
- Wet hands first and then apply plenty of soap
- Use warm water
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds (it’s longer than you think!)
- Use the palms of the hands to rub soap over other areas like the back of the hand, fingers, wrists, and forearms
- Use fingers to vigorously rub palms and in between fingers, where bacteria and pathogens tend to collect
- Dry in a sanitary manner using clean, unused paper towels
Developing and training a hand washing procedure for your employees is critical with pressing health and safety concerns. Implement these strategies and be sure to follow up with effective enforcement. Make sure you have a method for monitoring and reminding staff of proper hand washing procedures.
To keep up to date with the latest information on the coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/.
To read about cleaning methods & protocols specifically for restaurants in coronavirus cases, visit nrn.com/operations/how-should-restaurants-clean-coronavirus-cases?cid=.
To ensure your operation is equipped with dependable cleaning and disinfectant products, contact your Maines Territory Manager and check out these reliable products that help keep your operation clean and germ-free:
ProPower Foaming Anti-Microbial Soap #632740
This gold-colored soap featuring the superior germ-fighting power of 0.3% triclosan is proven to kill a wide variety of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and fungi on contact. It lathers quickly, rinses freely, and includes moisturizers and conditioners to soften hands and deodorizers to eliminate even the most offensive odors.
Maxim® Lemon Detergent Disinfectant #009823
This powerful no-rinse detergent disinfectant effectively kills human coronavirus and disinfects, cleans, and deodorizes in one timesaving step.
ProPower Originals Bowl-Clean Non-Acid Bowl Cleaner Ready-to-Use #632725
This item can be used to disinfect against COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. This ready-to-use bowl cleaner kills similar viruses and, therefore, can be used against SARS-CoV-2 when used following directions for use against Hepatitis A Virus on hard, non-porous surfaces.
*While supplies last