Fast food restaurants are prominent in American society, as well as in many countries around the world. People rely on low-cost, quick meals to carry them through their day, whether they are on their lunch break from work, traveling, or grabbing a meal in between commitments.
Fast food restaurants like Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and more can ramp up their health and safety efforts to keep the health of their customers and employees at the forefront.
Cleanliness has always been important in the food industry, but public health demands have demonstrated a need for fast food eateries to be as safe and healthy as possible. Keep reading to learn 7 ways your fast food restaurant can improve its health and safety measures.
1. Install Protective Sneeze Guards
When people speak to each other, eat, and drink, respiratory droplets are spread through the air. These airborne particles can contain infectious diseases. One of the most reliable and accessible ways to improve health and safety in your fast food restaurant is to install protective sneeze guard barriers.
Sneeze guards work by blocking airborne particles from reaching other people. You can install free-standing sneeze guards, booth extenders, or hanging barriers in many places in your restaurant, such as:
- Cashier counters
- Food pick-up stations
- In between bathroom sinks
- Booths and tables
Are you wondering if installing sneeze guards will negatively impact employee and customer interaction? The good news is that all of Barrier Lab’s protective sneeze guards are made from durable, transparent plexiglass.
These transparent shields will allow your customers and employees to see each other and interact as normal without spreading germs. Sneeze guards with pass-through openings allow cashiers and customers to pass money to each other without transmitting viruses and other harmful bacteria.
2. Extra Care When Handling Food
Food handling and preparation is a key component to fast food hygiene. If food isn’t properly handled, cross-contamination can occur by spreading harmful bacteria between foods and surfaces.
Cross-contamination can be prevented with the right measures in place. All restaurant employees must be well-versed in the best practices for handling and preparing food. Important practices to follow are:
- Using separate chopping boards for each food item, especially when dealing with raw meat
- Storing foods correctly, at the right temperatures
- Frequently washing hands
- Routinely washing food prep areas
3. Frequent Sanitation in All Areas
With public health being a priority for staff members and customers alike, it is vital to maintain excellent general hygiene in fast food restaurants. Fast food operators need to prioritize the best sanitation practices in all areas of their restaurant.
Stay on top of sanitation by creating a cleaning schedule. It is essential that certain areas do not get forgotten or skipped, and a cleaning schedule is a great way to make sure every area of the restaurant gets cleaned each day.
At closing time, kitchen areas should be thoroughly cleaned to meet all food health and safety standards. Extra care should be put in to ensure that nothing involved with food preparation or handling goes untouched.
The front of the restaurant should also be cleaned each night. Be sure to sanitize all areas in the front-of-house, including:
- Cash registers
- Garbage cans
- Credit card machines
- Sneeze guards
In the seated portion of your fast food establishment, disinfect all tables and chairs in between each customer as well as after the restaurant closes. All areas of restrooms should be cleaned daily. Make sure to check on the status of restrooms each hour to see if something needs to be tended to.
Cleaning so often may feel tedious, but remember that customers will often judge an entire fast food restaurant based on its cleanliness. Additionally, there is nothing more important than keeping your staff and customers safe and healthy.
4. Find Reliable Cleaning Products
Finding the right cleaning products can make your cleaning schedule much more efficient. Be sure to avoid any cleaning products that contain harmful toxins and irritating chemicals.
Focus on products that are all-encompassing, have low toxicity, and disinfect a broad range of harmful bacteria. Fast kill times are best in fast food restaurants to minimize any possibility of spreading foodborne illnesses.
After you clean your sneeze guards with regular disinfectant, you can also use polishing wipes and scratch remover pouches to ensure cleanliness and satisfaction.
5. Work Together With Suppliers
Contagious viruses can live on different surfaces for long periods of time. It is important for fast food restaurants to be proactive when processing deliveries. Take precaution when interacting with new people and products.
Beyond interacting with delivery companies, ensure that your supply chain is also following cleanliness standards. You should follow a rigorous selection process when choosing a supplier. Make sure they match your efforts in hygiene and safety.
6. Implement Proper Hand Washing
Make sure that all restaurant staff members employ proper handwashing techniques. There should be a sink in the kitchen that is specifically for washing hands. Make sure employees wash their hands before and after handling raw meat, whenever they have downtime, and after each time they use the restroom.
Hang signs in the restrooms to remind employees and customers to wash their hands. It is a good idea to include information about the recommended time to wash hands and the proper technique.
7. Increase Training
Increase training time on hygiene and cleanliness practices for all new employees. Be sure to use a common set of standards that each employee is thoroughly informed of.
Let your employees know that they should stay home when they are sick. It is dangerous to risk passing whatever harmful germs a sick employee has onto customers and other staff members.
The Best Fast Food Restaurant is a Safe One
By installing sneeze guard barriers, expanding sanitization, and properly training staff members, your fast food restaurant is sure to be a safe and healthy place for your customers and employees.
Are you ready to enhance the safety of your fast food restaurant? Get started with Barrier Lab sneeze guards today. We are here to help you spread the health.