A few months ago, back in June, I wrote a blog piece about food safety during a pandemic. At times like these, any little steps you can make help to make us all feel a little safer. Plexi-Glass in front of the cashier at the local convenience store. Wear a mask. Wash your hands to the point that there is no skin left on them (ok, that last one maybe only I have done, but I’m sure there are others who are with me there). Avoid larger crowds and make sure to maintain a good distance between yourself and any other person. Use hand sanitizer like its water. We all now know the Pandemic “rules”, even if we don’t like them. Someday, life will return to normal, and hopefully soon.
According to the CDC, here is a list of what we all should be doing to protect ourselves and our families. Most of us should know all these steps by now, but they are always worth repeating:
Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).
Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.
CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Masks may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
But none of that pertains to food or beverage, and right now, restaurants need to know what they should be doing to best protect their employees, their customers and themselves. Has anyone been out to eat at restaurants, if that is in fact an option where you live? Please make sure to go as much as you can afford to as these folks need our help and our business, and they in turn are doing all that they can to mitigate any risk associated with dining out. I have two young toddlers at home, so where we go and what we might bring home with us is always something that we are considering when making those decisions. Not something anyone has ever really had to think about for over 100 years now, since the 1918 Pandemic.
So, what can those with food service do to help mitigate the worries and get people back into restaurants? Of course, state by state there are Executive Orders put in place by Governor’s mandating things like 50% capacity, however there are measures that can be put in place to help to protect the customer. Switch to one-time use paper menus to decrease exposure and build customer confidence. True, this requires spending money to print menus each day, but would you do that if you could get more people through the door? I bet you would. You can require masks and enforce that as a house rule. No mask, no service. You can make sure to clean all tables and high touch areas multiple times a day. Some places are even assigning one employee per shift just to clean the high traffic areas as much as possible.
You could also start using the Saftea® Liner in all your beverage urns. Iced tea, iced coffee, lemonade, fruit punch, cider…almost everything you can put into your beverage urns can be protected by the Saftea® Liner. Best part is not only will it improve food safety and the overall taste of the iced tea (for instance) but it’s visible just enough that your customers will know that you have something in there to protect them.
However, your business is run, Plascon can likely help with one of our many products. But what we really want to see is people getting back to restaurants and enjoying themselves, safely. If you are new to Saftea® Liner, request your free 7-day trial of liners and see what a difference they can make in your restaurant operations, and share this information with your patrons to build customer trust and confidence to return to your establishments.