There is a need for a higher level of cleaning protocol throughout the restaurant industry to assist in the prevention of community-acquired infection (CAI) outbreaks, says Chicopee, founder of sanitizer compatible foodservice towels.

The recent widespread fear of a national outbreak of both the Ebola virus and Enterovirus D68 has food safety advocates urging that restaurants update their cleaning protocols. As the US ramps up for the beginning of influenza season, the company believes restaurant owners and staff should be taking precautions to ensure public areas within their facilities do not breed germs that could spread CAIs.

While restaurant sanitation and cleanliness is often considered to be straightforward by many restaurant owners, Dawn Huston, director of marketing for Chicopee, believes the effectiveness of sanitation is dependent upon several variables: sanitizer selected; properties of water used including temperature, hardness and pH; dwell time of the sanitizer on the surface; and chemical interactions between the cleaning towel and sanitizer.

“Restaurant owners need to thoroughly review the steps they take to clean their restaurants both in their kitchen and in their front-of-house,” explained Huston. “While a restaurant may appear clean we know that is not always the case. It is important to be consistent and meticulous with their surface cleaning regimen.”

Since many infected people often do not have visible symptoms, Huston urges restaurants to be proactive rather than reactive in their cleaning schedule. Restaurant staffers should clean and disinfect frequently touched areas regularly to ensure that surfaces are clean for their patrons.