The most effective way to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the new novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is to ensure you don’t come into contact with infected people or contaminated objects and surfaces. In response, restaurants are ditching reusable products, such as menus, on-table condiment bottles, and tableware, and replacing them with their single-use counterparts. Taking this extra precaution provides staff and customers with the reassurance that they won’t be handling previously touched and potentially contaminated products. In this article, we’ll show you why that is so crucial in these uncertain times.
How Can Single-Use Products Slow The Spread Of Coronavirus?
Finding ways to limit your staff and your customers’ exposure to objects and surfaces that are frequently touched is effective in reducing potential contact with infected surfaces and therefore slowing the spread of the virus.
As an example, consider the use of single-use products within the medical industry. Many commonly used items at doctors’ offices and hospitals are designed to be used only once to prevent the risk of cross-contamination and infection amongst patients. This same principle can be applied to using single-use items when handling or serving food to limit the risk for increased spread and contamination.
Single-Use Alternatives For Commonly Used Items At Your Restaurant
Reduce the amount of contact that your staff and customers have with frequently handled objects to maintain a safe environment at all times. Replace items that are typically housed on tables or passed from customer to customer with single-use alternatives.
After they’ve been used, these single-use products should be properly disposed of to eliminate the risk of healthy individuals being exposed to items that have been used by a person potentially infected with COVID-19.
- Replace reusable menus with single-use menus. Prepare a sufficient number of single-use menus that can be disposed of after customers have placed their orders.
- Remove on-table wine lists, cocktail menus, and specials. Instead, hand out single-use copies to eliminate frequent handling of any menus that typically remain on your tables in between seatings.
- Swap condiment bottles for individually wrapped packets or serve condiments in single-use sauce cups. Take away any ketchup, mustard, or hot sauce bottles and alert your customers that all condiments are available upon request.
- Switch reusable glasses, plates, and cutlery with single-use alternatives. Use single-use tableware to prevent your staff from having to wash previously handled items.
The Importance Of Single-Use Tableware In Response To COVID-19
Beyond the potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of exposure to infected surfaces, using single-use tableware sends a powerful message to your clientele. This visual cue indicates to customers that your business is operating with an abundance of caution and putting their safety first.
As customers are choosing whether to dine-out, order-in, or prepare their own food, it is crucial that they feel reassured about the precautions that your business is taking to protect them. To build this confidence and avoid potential spread of the virus, prepared foods can be served with the following single-use products:
- Plates and bowls. Consider stocking up on multiple sizes of single-use plates to accommodate appetizer, salad, entree, or dessert portions. Use single-use bowls to serve soups, pastas, and other foods.
- Drinking cups and coffee mugs. If possible, switch to single-use cups to serve waters, sodas, beers, cocktails, and all other beverages. This will eliminate staff needing to wash and polish glassware in between uses. For coffee and tea service, switch to paper coffee cups or single-use coffee mugs.
- Cutlery and utensils. Provide single-use forks, spoons, and knives to limit the exposure to these frequently handled items. This will also eliminate the necessity for staff to wash and polish silverware in between uses. If applicable, switch to disposable chopsticks.
- Napkins. If possible, place a pause on your linen service and replace cloth napkins with paper napkins for the time being.
- Placemats. Single-use paper placemats are an easy replacement for reusable acrylic or linen placemats. Even if you don’t typically use placemats, single-use placemats are an excellent way to add an additional layer of precaution when resetting tables.
Single-Use Products To Use When Preparing or Serving Food
There are single-use products available to guarantee an abundance of safety and sanitation when handling food.
- Disposable face masks and spit guards prevent ingredients and prepared foods from contamination. Equip staff with face masks and similar products to prevent respiratory droplets from making contact with kitchen tools, countertops, food, and customers.
- Disposable gloves minimize the chances of both contracting or spreading the virus. In the kitchen, this keeps chefs compliant with health regulations and recommended precautionary measures. In cashier and front-of-the-house situations, this provides an added protection for staff that frequently come into contact with money and customers.
How Does Coronavirus Spread?
Before comprehending what you can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it's vital to gain an understanding of how the illness spreads. The virus is thought to spread from person to person, mainly between people who are in close contact with each other. Respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes can make contact with another person or be inhaled into their lungs. A person needs to be within 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 in order to catch the virus this way.
Coronavirus can also spread when someone comes into contact with infected objects or surfaces. For example, a person can contract COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that is contaminated with the virus and then touching their own eyes, nose, or mouth. With how quickly COVID-19 can travel from one person to another, and the ramifications of large-scale community spread, it is critical to take action to reduce the spread of the illness.
How To Prevent The Spread Of Coronavirus
With no vaccine currently available, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by avoiding exposure to this virus. There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of becoming infected with coronavirus, which include:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wash your hands after you sneeze, cough, and use the restroom.
- Wash your hands after touching shared objects or surfaces.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects that you frequently touch.
- Don't touch your mouth, face, or nose with unwashed hands.
- Don't make contact with people who are infected or have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Cough and sneeze into a sleeve or tissue rather than into your hand or the air.
- Stay at home when you are sick to stop the spread of the illness.
Single-Use Products Make A Difference
With more and more COVID-19 cases developing around the world, understanding what the illness is and how it spreads is essential. It allows you to take proper precautions, such as limiting exposure to potentially infected objects and surfaces. By following these COVID-19 prevention tips, such as the jump to single-use products, you can protect yourself from the illness and keep staff and customers safe.