ALEXANDRIA, Va. — April 28, 2020 — As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the need for economic reactivation in America requires increased attention from all industries to maintain public health and safety. As restaurants open, they can initiate proven practices ensuring the safety and confidence of patrons. Maximizing restaurants’ hygiene requires adopting increased cleanliness practices such as using commercially laundered hygienically clean linens and garments including chef, kitchen and wait staff apparel. TRSA, the Association of the Linen, Uniform and Facility Services Industry, called on the National Governors Association today to prompt states to feature such services in guidance documents for restaurant reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TRSA is prompting members to distribute the NGA letter to their local/state restaurant associations and regulatory authorities. The association is launching a publicity and social media campaign to reinforce the letter’s messages.
“Expectations for best safety practices will be extremely high as restaurants begin re-opening,” said Joseph Ricci, president and CEO of TRSA. “Clean, white linens and apparel increase both the perception and reality of a cleaner, safer environment.”
Bacteria have been shown to be present in excessive amounts on bare restaurant tables, even with regular cleaning, in comparison with tablecloths. Tablecloths can provide a 5-times-cleaner surface and are touched only at the corners by the server laying the cloth and by the immediate patrons. Bare tables can be a breeding ground for all types of microscopic bacteria. Hygienically Clean table linens minimize the bacteria that put patrons at risk.
TRSA member best management practices help keep the dining public safe by implementing cleanliness standards and inspiring public confidence. TRSA identified these practices as best practices for any guidance released to restaurants and dining establishments:
- Hygienically clean tablecloths, place mats and napkins should be used to reduce or eliminate disease transmission by touch. Replacing tablecloths each time new guests are seated ensures a clean and safe table. These products can also identify the tables to be used for social separation. Placemats can accomplish a similar result by seating guests further apart at the same table or counter. “Hygienically Clean” commercial laundry certification standards minimize contamination risk.
- Staff should be given hygienically cleaned, commercially laundered uniforms daily such as chef coats, cook shirts, pants and aprons to wear throughout their shifts. This applies to takeout and delivery staff, as well as kitchen and wait staff. Research verifies the superior cleanliness and public preference for professional laundering of work uniforms; home washing machines and practices have proven inadequate for consistent disinfection. Instead, uniforms should be left in a bin at the restaurant to be picked up and commercially laundered. A clean uniform should be given out at the start of each shift, replacing the clothes in which employees commuted to the restaurant.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers should be placed throughout restaurants for guests and staff to use.
- Reusable/washable face masks that meet CDC guidelines and disposable gloves should be worn by staff. Gloves should be changed out often throughout an employee’s shift.
- Commercial cleaning solutions should be used on all hard surfaces throughout the day, including entryway door handles, kitchen area and bathrooms.
“As America starts to get back to business and dining establishments begin to reopen, providing the public with clean and safe dining establishments will be a key part of an economic recovery. Abiding by these steps should be a cornerstone of this process,” said Ricci.
“We are all looking forward to the opportunity to dine out and go back to our favorite restaurants or try something new. We know that public confidence will be a key factor in putting this vital part of our economy back on track and returning millions of hard-working Americans back to the workforce,” he added.
Posted April 28, 2020