How food business owners can keep up these good habits after the pandemic
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, food businesses across Australia have adapted to implement health and safety processes that go a step further than before. For many, this has included significant changes to business operations and the safety measures taken to reduce the rate of infection and keep patrons and staff safe. While for the majority of food business owners these new processes have become a habit, it is vital to remain vigilant as circumstances change or improve.
Good hygiene practices
Remembering to wash hands frequently has always been a key food safety precaution taken to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, however, as studies show that thorough handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to wash hands frequently.
As food businesses begin to open up to the public or transition to take-away only, diligence is key when it comes to frequent handwashing and reinforcing the importance of doing so. This also extends to customers who can be reminded through the use of food safety posters placed in bathrooms as a way of encouraging good personal hygiene from everyone on the premises. Staff and patrons should be reminded that to effectively destroy bacteria hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds using warm water and soap.
Hand sanitiser can be used in the absence of soap and water. Food business owners should keep hand sanitiser handy to encourage frequent sanitisation by staff and patrons. This is particularly necessary for delivery staff who may not have frequent access to soap and water during working hours. One of the most prominent commercial kitchens supplies of recent months is the hand sanitiser dispenser. This can be placed strategically around kitchens and dining areas to reduce the risk of contamination by potentially dangerous pathogens. This no touch hand sanitiser dispenser is a great way to encourage sanitisation and reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.
Deep cleaning and better sanitisation
Implementing frequent cleaning operations in response to COVID-19 is vital in reassuring guests and, more importantly, keeping patrons and staff safe. Surfaces that are touched frequently such as condiments, trays, menus, tables and doorknobs should be sanitised regularly throughout the day. It is vital that any sanitising products used contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective against COVID-19. As the circumstances improve, food businesses should maintain the habit of consistent sanitisation in high-traffic areas as an additional food safety precaution.
Wear PPE on the premises
Studies have shown that wearing a mask significantly reduces the rate at which COVID-19 spreads through community transmission. Wearing a surgical mask can help to block droplets that are emitted through coughing, sneezing and talking making them less likely to infect another individual in close proximity through close contact or aerosols. Check out our graphic on how to wear a face mask to get the most protection.
Disposable gloves are another form of PPE which are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Disposable gloves prevent the spread of bacteria by creating a barrier between contaminated surfaces and the hands. Be sure to replace disposable gloves every 30 minutes and wash the hands thoroughly after disposing of them in a lined bin.
Keep looking for ways to positively adapt your business
For many food businesses, survival during the pandemic has meant transitioning to take-away only services which can have a significant effect on the way that day to day business operations are conducted. Think about the commercial kitchen supplies that might be needed when the time comes to return to business as usual. Perhaps more food storage solutions or food labels would be useful when managing higher levels of stock, or a contactless body thermometer could be used to determine whether customers can safely enter the premises. Make the best of the changing circumstances by being one step ahead.
Fildes Food Safety offers a range of commercial kitchen supplies designed to create efficient and sustainable food safety practices as food businesses adapt in line with government restrictions. Get in touch or contact your Fildes Food Safety representative for more information on our range of food safety products and resources.