You probably spend more waking hours working in your restaurant than you do at home, but when was the last time you really, really cleaned the not so obvious places and things at work?
Your manager’s office provides for hundreds of microscopic hiding spots for viruses and bacteria — the crevices in your keyboard, the handles on your door, your chair…I could go on.
While the novel coronavirus is primarily transmitted between people, touching infected surfaces can pass the virus, too.
But don’t call out sick just yet: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) have tips on how to properly disinfect work stations to keep yourself healthy and your workplace clean during a pandemic.
Here is a list of CDC recommendations on environmental cleaning and disinfection:
- Wear disposable gloves and make sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product. Wash hands after gloves are removed.
- Use detergent or soap and water to clean and diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water) or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol to disinfect.
- Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
- Use EPA-registered disinfectants including the Clorox Multi Surface Cleaner + Bleach and the Professional
- Lysol Disinfectant Spray and follow label instructions. Check the expiration date.
- Focus on frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, keyboards & mouse, chairs, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Clean porous surfaces such as carpeted floors, rugs and drapes. Wash with the warmest water possible and dry items completely.
- Wear disposable gloves to handle dirty clothes, towels, linens and other items that go in the laundry. Do not shake dirty laundry. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers.
- Use gloves when removing garbage bags, handling, and disposing of trash. Wash hands after handling or disposing of trash.
Wash your hands. And wash them often.
Get ready to make lots of trips to the nearest sink. You should wash your hands after you eat, touch door handles or blow your nose, etc, etc. Whenever you can wash your hands, just make sure you’re washing your hands correctly.
Forget the handshakes.
The novel coronavirus is transmitted primarily between people, so avoid unnecessary physical contact. Refusing a handshake isn’t ill-mannered anymore — it’s recommended. Flash a friendly wave, peace sign or thumbs-up instead.
But don’t forget your phones and tablets.
All that hand washing and disinfecting is worth nothing if your phone is dirty! You’re safe using a damp, soapy microfiber cloth to clean the screens and backs of iPhones and Androids (though Apple said this week that disinfectant wipes are OK to use on iPhones, too). Just avoid getting moisture in any of the ports.
There you have it. A little scrubbing goes a long way. But if you want to kill the most germs, note the difference between disinfecting and cleaning: Cleaning only removes viruses and bacteria from surfaces, but disinfecting wipes them out.
Restaurant and Hospitality employers just might want to check out the available revolutionary products out there like STERISAFE, which provides a whole room disinfection system for treatment of surfaces and air. Medical supply companies tend to be distributors of products like this – our restaurants should be just as protected as hospitals.
The difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing – From the CDC and EPA:
Cleaning removes germs and dirt from surfaces. You can use soap and water to clean surfaces. This doesn’t always kill germs but removing them lowers their numbers. It’s suggested to clean surfaces before you disinfect them.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. Disinfectant chemicals are stronger than soap but do not necessarily clean visibly dirty surfaces or remove germs. Killing germs lowers the risk of infection. To properly disinfect, products need to remain on a surface for a specific amount of time — usually 3 to 5 minutes.
Sanitizing also kills germs, but disinfecting kills more of them. Some products are capable of doing both, but disinfecting requires a bit more work. Still, sanitizers effectively lower the risk of infection.
A note from our CEO, Dave Kenney:
“Our top priorities continue to be the health and well-being of our employees, ensuring uninterrupted service to our customers and partners, and finally, doing our part in preventing further spread of the virus. Efficient Forms business operations will continue without interruption. We will continue to fully support Efficient Hire with our exceptional services while moving forward with all sales efforts, all implementations, all WOTC submissions and processing, all upcoming releases of new features and functionalities as planned.”
Want to know more about Efficient Hire’s HR solutions for Restaurants? We’re still here to help save you time, labor costs, and put money back to your bottom line. Go ahead and request a demo, we’ll do it all over the phone (you just disinfected it after all).