Photo by Lorenzo Messina from Pexels

As restaurants in the US open gradually, you may see some changes in the restaurant industry due to the impact of the coronavirus. Some of these changes may include changing the seating area to accommodate social distancing, asking your staff to put on masks, and redouble efforts to clean and disinfect high-traffic areas. The good news is that the food safety guidelines you followed before COVID19 are still relevant and unlikely to change. Read the full article to know some safety tips on the reopening restaurant during the covid pandemic situation.

Hygiene Measures: Since the mechanisms for preparing, storing, and delivering food remain the same, your restaurant kitchen may not need much change. Significant changes can occur in the looks and the overall dining experience.

  • Air Filtration: Indoor air must be filtered to remove harmful aerosol droplets and airborne particles, and you can do this with a portable air purifier that filters the air with a HEPA 13 filter. You can install these air filters strategically close to customers for better air purification.
  • Ventilation: Currently, COVID19 is recognized not only by airborne droplets but also by airborne infection. Ventilation of clean air is a priority to reduce the concentration of respiratory aerosol particles in the air. 
  • Handwashing And Sanitizing: Provide hand sanitizer for customers when entering your restaurant. Employees should wash their hands frequently, following the standard 20 second-hand washing instructions. 

Discourage Bare Hand Contact With Food: Foodservice personnel should never touch food with bare hands, especially cooked food. If your employees are not wearing gloves, they should use napkins or utensils to prepare and serve food. In addition to not touching bare hands, remind your employees to wash their hands frequently. One should not underestimate the importance of proper handwashing.

Ask Employees To Wear Mask: Both CDC and the FDA recommend that food industry workers wear face masks while working. Masks help prevent respiratory droplets from spreading from the person wearing the facemask. The facemask is essential to prevent the spread of COVID19 if a food service worker is sick without realizing it. 

Keep The Washroom Clean: Toilets are an essential facility in restaurants, but they carry a high risk of spreading infections. Toilets also require regular cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation. In addition, they often have limited space, so you have to manage the number of people and social distance. Set up signs and floor graphics with instructions for customers on maintaining social distancing while using the toilet. The bathroom should have enough soap and hand towels or hand dryers, toilet seat cleaners, and sealed toilet paper containers.

Ensure Social Distancing Norms: The primary mode of transmission of the virus is person-to-person contact and airborne droplets when coughing and sneezing. Therefore, if possible, make sure employees are at least 6 feet away from others. In addition to train employees on reopening plans, you should add posters and floor graphics reminding them of protective measures to be taken. These floor graphics help new customers and kids to navigate the establishment with little or no assistance. 

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