Our Coronavirus News & Resources Page
Get our most up to date information and access to resources below.
As a food microbiology laboratory and hygiene audit service provider, we are not able to test for the virus directly however, we are currently offering additional testing of surface and hand swabs, which are tested for SPC (standard plate count) bacteria. These tests serve as an indicator of general hygiene and sanitation. This allows us to provide feedback on how effective your hand washing/saniting and increased cleaning regimes are.
For our hotel clients, we are able to perform front of house and room audits that are able to measure the risks interms of general hygiene as well as assess the cleaning procedures of your cleaning teams.
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Details about the virus
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by the virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Coronavirus is primarily a respiratory illness and spreads via airborne droplets from an infected person’s coughs or sneezes. Hand contact of contaminated surfaces can transfer to a person’s eyes, nose and mouth which can cause infection.
COVID-19 may present with slower onset of illness:
- Mild headache
- Body ache
- Mild/absent fever
- Shortness of breathe
We are concerned about COVID-19 because:
- It is highly infectious (easily get the disease).
- Spreads easily because of poor hygiene.
Those in the high-risk category:
- Elderly (+65years)
- Young children
- Those with lowered immunity
- Those already ill.
Are at a higher risk of obtaining severe infections. The majority of healthy individuals will have mild symptoms and should not be concerned about illness, but rather the spread of illness.
Dealing with the risks
How to deal with chances of spreading the disease:
- Keep good personal hygiene
- Maintaining social distance
- Clean and sanitise high contact areas
- Keep good food safety practices
These risks can be managed!
What does good personal hygiene mean?
- Wash and sanitise your hands :
- After touching your nose, mouth, eyes
- High-contact areas
- Food safety risks
- Raw foods
- After going to the toilet
- Cough & sneeze into a tissue or bend of your elbow or shoulder
- Minimise human contact and keep a good (social) distance.
It is also important to remember that hand sanitiser is only useful if you cannot wash your hands. Washing your hands with hand soap is by far the better option in removing germs from your hands.
How to wash your hands:
- Clear off any excess food or dirt by rinsing under water
- Use a liquid hand soap and thoroughly wash your entire hand and forearm
- Rinse under warm water
- Dry your hands with paper towel
- Dispose of paper towel in a pedal bin
- Apply an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
What are high contact or high traffic areas?
- Cleaning and sanitising is important to remove any germs and the material they live on from a contact surface.
- Material : mucus, dirt, food
- Removing the material means the germs cannot survive
- Research shows COVID-19 can survive for 3hrs – 3days
Front of house areas :
- Handles & Doors (Entrance door / Airport shuttle door / Toilets
- Reception Pen/ Counters / Keyboards
- Menu folder / Restaurant Pen
- Staircase rail handle / Elevator buttons
- Housekeeping trolley / Housekeeping cloth for wiping
- Entrance door handle
- TV Remote control
- Toilet flusher handle
- Tumbler drinking glass
- Mini safe number panel
Kitchen / Restaurant (Food Safety Areas)
- Equipment / Prep Knives
- Dishing spoons
- Counter tops
How to clean and sanitise:
- Spray on a multi-purpose cleaner
- Wipe with a clean cloth
- Spray on a surface sanitiser
- Leave on for 3 – 5 minutes
- Wipe off with paper towel
What to do at your facility:
- Be SEEN to be cleaning and sanitising your front of house every hour
- Ensure staff are washing and sanitising their hands
- Perform your food handler’s hygiene checklists earliest in the morning to identify if staff are ill.
- Send staff home if they are ill.
- Speak to your staff, train them on understanding what personal and general hygiene means.
- The more knowledge the team has, the less likely that they will give in to the current confusion and hysteria.
- Encourage them to talk to your customers about what systems you have in place to minimise the risks of spreading the infections.
- Have one voice on how you are managing your risks.
- Provide hand sanitisers for guests at entrances / restaurants / Reception area
- Encourage hand washing
- Appoint awareness ambassadors to be vigilant of staff and guests that show signs of sneezing / coughing.
- Offer assistance with dishing food / tissues / hand washing / sanitising .
- Cover the cold buffet
- Repalce with single meals / prepacked foods / covering
- Replace dishing spoons regularly
- Clean tables before and after use
- Be SEEN to be actively cleaning