Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard of coronavirus or COVID-19. Originally discovered in China, this new virus has now spread to several other countries, with no end in sight. While the outbreak has caused wide-spread hysteria, there are several people who have contracted the virus and have recovered just as quickly. The groups that this virus can effect most considerably are those who either have weakened immune systems (elderly) or have pre-existing health conditions such as asthma or heart conditions who are not able to handle the symptoms that accompany the virus. This being said, it is important that we look out for one another and observe practices that keep the virus from spreading. These practices are similar but change a bit when it comes to running a food establishment. We don’t doubt that you may be experiencing reduced customer frequency, but in case you were wondering, here are a few things you can do to be proactive against the spread while in operation according to Servsafe.
1. Wash hands thoroughly and frequently
While this practice might seem like a no-brainer and number one on the list for anyone who has completed servsafe training (like your writer over here at MenuCalc and many of you), it’s the duration and frequency we should call attention to. Whether you are serving a customer, handling food or using the restroom take precaution to keep hands clean by washing. When in doubt, wash. According to Servsafe handwashing guidelines, scrub hands and arms thoroughly– including finger nails and between fingers for about 10-15 seconds.
2. Clean & Disinfect Surfaces
This step includes everything from doorknobs to countertops, restroom surfaces and places where food is being prepared. Take the proper precaution to ensure that coronavirus is not spread through dirty surfaces that have been touched by those who are unaware that they are infected.
3. Observe Your Employees
If an employee arrives to work with flu-like symptoms, promptly send them home. No amount of risk is permissible when considering the safety and well-being of others while observing proper food-safety practices.
4. Care for Your Customers
If a customer comes in to your establishment with flu-like symptoms or is suspected to have coronavirus, take extra precaution. Provide extra napkins for their use while dining if they feel the need to cough or sneeze. Be sure to promptly sanitize their dining area, plates and utensils once they depart your establishment.
Additional Helpful Tips
In addition to the Servsafe food and operation safety tips above, other food establishments are taking other precautions to help stop the spread of coronavirus such as:
- Reducing capacity (movie theaters in particular are offering limited seating during the declared state of emergency)
- Closing temporarily (many food establishments have opted to close temporarily until the state of national emergency has changed)
- Reduced hours of operation
While no fool-proof option exists to stop the spread of coronavirus, the more we work we do to join together, the better off we will all be.
And from all of us at MenuCalc, we wish you safety and seamless operation during this time.