Heightened Awareness of Food Hygiene and Sanitation Practice

With concerns about risks, businesses need to be prepared

Cleaning for health has become more important than ever with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a heightened awareness of hygiene and sanitation practices in all sectors. Food environments are especially on high alert right now with the whole industry—from farm to takeout—practicing new ways to safely prepare and deliver food. 

For food service operations, Michael Sperber, senior business development manager for UL Everclean, offered some thoughts on hygiene and sanitation in a COVID-19 world:

On social distancing

It’s important not to utilize the whole cooking surface. Space is premium and, much like property boundary markers, workers need to know where one’s space ends and another begins. To help keep the food service workers operating safely, Sperber suggests placing clear markers on the floor of restaurants to keep everyone spaced apart.

On capacity

Many restaurants and food service organizations are already working with a decreased staff but as the economy starts to reopen, employers need to carefully plot out the number of workers who can safely occupy the space given the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On mandatory guidelines

Mandates vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but even if your area does not call for the use of cloth face coverings, the CDC strongly recommends that you enforce the wearing of face coverings in your business. This means even when it gets hot in the kitchen. Wearing a mask is a mark of responsibility and respect for everyone around you. Reusable face coverings should be laundered after each daily use.

On hand washing

Hand washing has always been front and center in the food services industry but it’s even more important now. Educate staff on the importance of handwashing and sanitation. Keep alcohol-based sanitizer nearby as a visual reminder.

On false security

Masks and gloves can give people a false sense of security, including food services staff. People are constantly readjusting their masks, wearing their gloves from place to place, contaminating everything. Set guardrails for your staff by teaching them to be mindful of their workplace habits. Also, if they are feeling even a little bit sick, they should not be working.

Maintaining your facility and setting firm expectations with your staff is always important for public health and safety, especially during a pandemic. Discover more practices for you and your employees to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

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