Here are the facts restaurants need to know about the Coronavirus. First, your food will not be affected. Secondly, you don’t need to worry about what food people consume and lastly, continue to wash your hands and follow the health guide issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It’s okay to be concerned, but even more important to take the steps necessary to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus.
I know those in the restaurant industry are feeling and seeing the impact. I also know that during this time, it can be extremely tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but my greatest advice to you all is to stay positive. By following food and safety guidelines and calling your local and state health departments for any food updates, you will be less stressed and more able to focus on a solution to get your restaurant back up and running or running smoothly. Fact check:
- Can the Coronavirus Be Spread Through Food?
- What Foods Should I Avoid During the Coronavirus Outbreak?
- How Should I wash my Hands and Clean Surfaces in My Restaurant?
Furthermore, it’s important to know the facts before placing too much trust into the media alone. If you are an owner of a restaurant, be sure to check-in with your state and local health departments to cross-check the information you have received and hear about from thy neighbors. With pre-cautionary measures taken into account, continued awareness of a clean kitchen and proper hand-washing, the restaurant industry may feel the burn now, but it won’t be long before restaurants all over the nation are back to tossing pizza dough, slicing and dicing and cooking with gas!
1. Can the Coronavirus Be Spread Through Food?
No. Currently, there is no evidence that suggest the virus can be transmitted through food or food packaging. The CDC has defined this as a respiratory instance contracted only through person-to-person droplets.
“There is likely a very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that is being shipped over a period of days.” – CDC
To conclude, continue to chef up whatever delectable dish you wish, because there is very low risk of food being the reason your guests get sick. If you’re the owner of the restaurant, check in with your staff. Send any person ill home, and tell those who are sick to stay home. “A restaurant is only as good as the people who are staffing it.”
2. What Foods Should I Avoid During the Coronavirus Outbreak?
None. You can still order Chinese and eat it too. Don’t fret about the kinds of food you eat. You can indulge in a juicy apple or piece-of-cake and not be stricken with anxiety.
3. How Should I Wash my Hands and Clean Restaurant Surfaces?
Washing your hands has become the highlight of all Facebook news feeds all around the globe and though hand-washing has always been important, during a pandemic, there’s no better time than now to “pepper” your restaurant staff with verbal and written notices of hand-washing with anti-bacterial soap for 20-seconds. Don’t forget to wash your own hands while you’re at it! Washing your hands is not a guarantee that you won’t get sick. However, it is a great way to reduce the odds. Here are some helpful tips to #combatcorona:
- Wash your hands between handling raw and cooked foods
- Wash your hands after handling any meat products
- Avoid close contact (6 feet) with anyone who is showing symptoms of respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
How to Properly Clean Restaurant Surfaces
Surfaces are just as important to keep clean as your hands. Make sure surfaces are disinfected properly in the FOH and BOH. When cleaning a dirty surface do the following:
- Make sure you use the correct disinfectant/cleaner and WEAR GLOVES!
- When done cleaning, toss those same gloves out! Hoard them during your next Stop & Shop run.
- Check the expiration date. Expired cleaning products will not be effective. Like last years model, somethings just aren’t the same…
- Clean the surface using a detergent or soap with water prior to disinfecting. Today, most EPA registered disinfectants are approved and work best. Remember five-years ago when you bought 10 cases of Clorox wipes, the time has come! Also, keep in mind that soft porous surfaces require different cleaning products than a counter top.
#1 Fact Restaurants Need to Know about the Coronavirus
For those of you in the restaurant industry, I know it’s hard, but take a breather. Think like the business men and women that you are and strive to be an inspiration to all other restaurants by not giving up. The game is not over, you just need new rules and more Clorox.