Keeping a clean bar or restaurant means something very different today, with sanitation levels being more crucial than ever. The pandemic has caused bars and restaurants to follow health and safety protocols to ensure a safe environment for guests. Several health departments and safety organizations are taking additional actions to provide special guidelines to ensure a safe community.
The FDA stresses the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, staying healthy, and social distancing. It is beneficial to perform specific employee training to reinforce cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures.
Most likely as a business owner you have already taken extra precautions for safety in order to resume business. It is understandably more challenging; however, here are ways you and your staff can ensure your establishment is safe.
Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting
It is time to increase how frequently you clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces by wiping them down using regular household cleaning products. As cleaning becomes a broader term, the range of duties can be separated into different processes for standard cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.
Standard cleaning will physically remove unwanted substances on surfaces. It is important to recognize general cleaning will not kill pathogens. Cleaning should be done consistently before sanitizing or disinfecting.
Sanitizing helps to reduce the amount of microorganisms, including germs and the growth of bacteria, on surfaces. Food-prep areas and working surfaces should be sanitized multiple times a day using food-safe sanitizers. Following standard cleaning procedures and sanitation, the use of disinfectants is where it can make a difference.
Disinfectants kill surface bacteria and viruses. These products are currently the most effective way to kill the coronavirus. Disinfectants should never come in direct contact with food and should be used with caution on food contact surfaces. The EPA approved a list of disinfectants that fights against coronavirus and give details on which types of surfaces they are safe to use on.
Main high-touch surfaces:
- Doorknobs, railings, light switches
- Bathroom surfaces, faucets, sinks
- Menus, phones
- Tables, chairs
- Takeout stations
- Drink machines
- Machines, ATMs, point-of-sale systems
Make sure to regularly wipe down, sanitize and disinfect high-contact surfaces multiple times a day.
Keeping a Safe Environment
These are times when the importance of working together as a community is more meaningful. The FDA recommends the following best practices to employ during the pandemic to safeguard employees and customers.
- Follow four key steps to food safety — clean, separate, cook and chill.
- Encourage safe distancing.
- Provide hand sanitizer.
- Impose face mask requirements.
Face coverings are extremely essential during times like COVID-19 for preventing the spread of the virus. When physical distancing of people is difficult to constantly control, it is especially important for mandatory face coverings to be strictly followed by each customer, as well as your staff. It is helpful to provide complimentary face masks for patrons who come into your establishment without one or to have masks available for purchase, along with informing guests of the proper face-covering requirements.
Continue to follow the CDC updates and information released by health departments to stay informed on the most beneficial ways to protect your employees and customers.