On Wednesday, Utah State University’s Dr. Brian Nummer and other food science professors across the country gave a webinar on Food Safety and COVID-19.
Before COVID-19 Dr. Brian Nummer said restaurants were some of safest places due to constant cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces. Now, restaurants are taking it a step further with caution of their consumer contact surfaces.
“When we look at the COVID-19, SARS-cov-2 viruus, it's a respiratory virus, and it's transmitted by basically respiratory droplets. So instead of focusing on food contact surfaces, we've had to kind of train the restaurants to now think about it. New surface which is basically anything that consumer can touch caught on, or, you know, or that the droplets from the respiratory system could reach,”
These consumer contact surfaces include doorknobs, railings, menus, shared condiments dispensers and anything else you would touch when in a restaurant.
According to Nummer, “any surface that the food will touch, or any surface that a microbe could fall off into food is considered a food contact surface and so restaurants have been required to clean and sanitize those surfaces for decades and they done it before the pandemic, they will do it after the pandemic. So that cleaning and sanitizing has always been done.
To help restaurants have access to this information, USU is working on a training program that explains how and what to clean when it comes to the sanitizing of consumer contact surfaces.