“Diners have become more knowledgeable, Vigilant & aware. At every Restaurants the
maximum touchpoints are menus, seats, tables chairs, crockeries, cutleries that should be used
with a disinfector & the use of Disposable Menu, QR Payments & Menu’s & with the latest UV
Technologies to destroy any type of bacteria within from crockeries/cutleries. Hygiene levels
were maintained before the pandemic too but now it has to be taken one step ahead to win the
customer’s trust & certitude. “– Mr. Rahul Bhatia (Director) PHR Restaurant Consultant & Management
Hygiene! Hygiene! Hygiene! This Word has changed the perception towards cleanliness When it
comes to your Hotels & Restaurants, expectations are higher than ever. It’s time to take a closer
look at how to keep things clean and disinfected – To keep your customers safe and fed.
Of all the areas affected by COVID-19, the food industry has probably been hit the hardest. As it’s the only business that
hinges on cleanliness, sanitation and safety, alongside interacting with the public, a health crisis of this magnitude was
bound to change things – particularly the way we keep things clean.
It’s likely you’ve already taken steps to follow all regulations and increase cleaning procedures, but in such rapidly
changing circumstances, it’s important to regularly review these practices as the situation develops. Let’s take a closer
look at how to keep things clean – for now and for the future.
HANDWASHING, GLOVES, AND HAND HYGIENE:
While cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation have always been important to the food industry, the current situation has
made it clear just how crucial these efforts are to the health and safety of our communities. And while there’s no
evidence that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted through food, establishments involved with food and food
preparation should take extra precautions to protect themselves and the general public, just in case.
CLEANING, DISINFECTION AND SANITATION:
In terms of food prep, WHO reports that temperatures between 140° and 150°F and higher are enough to kill most
viruses – which means cooking and dishwashing will take care of most potential risks. But cleaning food prep surfaces
presents a different challenge. Disinfectants generally aren’t food safe and may require long dwell times before rinsing.
In these circumstances, food contact surfaces should be regularly cleaned and sanitized – to remove pathogens to a
safe level – and then fully disinfected whenever possible.
In addition, these circumstances could present a bittersweet opportunity to tackle difficult, unpleasant jobs that have
fallen by the wayside during busier times, such as defrosting and disinfecting freezers, deep cleaning ranges, ovens,
and other large equipment, dealing with the hood and ventilation system, or repairing and replacing out of date
appliances. In addition to checking items off your to-do list, taking care of these projects now can help set your
restaurant up for a clean slate when it comes time to reopen. Odds are guests and authorities will have high
expectations when it comes to restaurant cleanliness once the pandemic has passed – but by making an effort and
building strong cleaning strategies now, we can lay a foundation for the future of the food industry.
Clean & then Clean Again! – Before, during, and after shifts, now is the time to up your cleaning game. Exactly how long
the coronavirus can survive on surfaces hasn’t yet been confirmed, so be diligent in frequently wiping down counters
and cleaning cookware, tableware, utensils, and high-contact surfaces like door handles.
HANDLE FOOD DELIVERY PACKAGES PROPERLY
You and your restaurant staff will inevitably have to touch some food packages to fulfill orders, and you’ll have to work
together to do so safely. Adhere to social distancing by avoiding passing packages to one another. Instead, set the item
down on a table, then walk away so the other person can pick it up safely.
As much as it may pain you from an environmental standpoint to use items wrapped in plastic, you should remove any
loose takeout cutlery or napkins from your restaurant. These items all hold the potential for cross-contamination. Ask
guests if they need these items – if many are eating from home, they might be fine to take their order without.
Highlights of Protocols to be maintained in Hospitality Sector
- Number of tables and the layout will be altered to maintain social distancing norms
- Self-service buffets will be implemented with adequate protection like sneeze guards
- F&B staff will wear all mandatory PPEs while serving guests
- Menus will either be presented digitally or in single use disposable units
- Contactless Dining & payments will be implemented
- All self-service condiments will be replaced with one time usage sachets
- Cutlery, crockery and glassware processing will be in accordance to the guidelines of FSSAI & HACCP
- Entire kitchen will be cleaned and sanitized frequently with hospital grade disinfectant as per HACCP
- Food processors will wear mandatory PPEs at all times during food production
- Wellness oriented menu sections are being worked upon for a healthier meal and greater immunity
At the end I would like to say that following these stringent protocols are not just the need of
the hour but it’s getting along with the new normal.
Note: The Hygiene protocols by Gov of India are given below
Hotels & Other Hospitality Units: