How safe is the iced tea that you serve

Saftea® Liner to the rescue for National Food Safety Month

September is National Food Safety Month

How using iced tea urn liners can raise the bar on your restaurant's Food Safety Program

dirty_urn_circle_slashWhen most people think of food safety, thoughts tend to go towards cooked foods, and the temperatures needed to ensure food is safe and will not make people sick. But, when you run a food service program at a restaurant, convenience store, school, or anywhere else for that matter, often it is beverages that fail to be taken into account. When your drink from a soda gun (commonly seen behind a bar), or from a fountain machine, do you stop to think about the cleanliness and maintenance that is required for optimum sanitation?  If you use Saftea® Liners, you eliminate the risk of bacterial buildup that results from improper or irregular cleaning. (See image showing buildup inside the urn spigot/ faucet.)

How safe is the iced tea that you serve

That brings us to your fresh brewed iced teas. Most people love iced tea and they seek it out both for the taste, and for the health benefits that iced tea can help with. I know that is why I look for iced tea wherever I go. I won’t get an iced tea unless it is fresh brewed. Have you ever seen those nozzles on the soda guns or fountain machines? I remember when I was in high school working at a local pizza place, part of my job as a delivery driver was to clean and sanitize the nozzles for the soda machine at the end of the day. Half of these things were so corroded and full of sugar that I needed a wrench to be able to remove them so that they could be cleaned! After seeing that, it’s only fresh brewed for me.

But, there are also problems inherent with fresh brewed iced teas, especially at most of the establishments where you purchase that drink. Why? Tea is brewed right into these stainless steel urns (or brewed in the back somewhere and poured into those urns) which allows restaurants  to store large amounts of brewed iced tea all day long. But, what exactly is going on inside those things? According to a report done by Eurofins, (an independent laboratory that test food and food equipment for safety) less than 2 hours after brewing a fresh batch of iced tea, mold, bacteria and fungi were already growing on the walls of both the urn and the spigot. Call me crazy, but ingesting mold, bacteria and fungi isn’t what I want to be doing when I’m eating my hamburger for lunch.

saftea liner and tea urnsAs we have spoken about at length over the past couple of years since we started writing these blogs, there is an easy, inexpensive way to make sure your tea is free from any foreign contaminants. How? Simply use a Saftea® Liner every day in your urns. Not only will the tea be safer, but it actually improves the flavor and quality of the iced tea, (we have had numerous customers tell us this) it also makes cleaning a snap! Typically when it is time to clean the urn, it involves pouring out any remaining tea, disassembling the spigot to soak in sanitizing solution, and then scrubbing the urn for 15 minutes with cleaning chemicals. Instead, you could simply empty the tea, remove and recycle the liner, then replace with a fresh liner for the next day. Not only are you protecting your customers and your tea, but you’re also saving money on labor and cleaning chemicals since you will no longer need to pay someone to scrub urns at the end of the day. Instead, more attention can be paid to other cleaning duties to present the restaurant in the best light possible.  Cleanup is less of a chore, and everyone gets to go home sooner, which in turn saves the restaurant or convenience store money.

Fun Fact: Did you know that iced tea is the 2nd most popular beverage in the United States, behind water? Providing tea that is both clean and safe is what keeps customer loyalty. Saftea® Liner provides a simple, economical manner to accomplish that goal, all while saving a little money in the process!  For more information on Saftea® Liner, or to place your order online, visit our webstore today!

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