A lot of us remember the SARS virus outbreak back in 2003 that sent everyone scrambling to buy and horde face masks and disinfectants.

Now once again, another virus outbreak has most of the globe going above and beyond to stop it from spreading any further.

The F&B industry also reacted fast to the outbreak by putting in place many preemptive steps to protect everyone from the Covid-19 coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan, China.

To date, the death toll from this outbreak is more than 1,100 surpassing the rate from the SARS outbreak.

The SARS epidemic, which like the novel coronavirus also originated in China, caused 8,098 people to be sick and claimed 774 lives worldwide.

There is some good news though. The recovery rate for Covid-19 infections is high, standing around 8.6%.

The virus is known to spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets in the air when coughing or sneezing. However, traces of the virus have been found in a fecal matter as well.

Follow these tips to keep your restaurant and customers safe from this fast-spreading dangerous virus.

Disinfect all surfaces regularly.

Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. There is no need to carry out extra precautionary steps at this stage though. Your usual cleaning routine, if thorough, is enough to keep your premises safe.

If you’re feeling OCD, How about using disposable sanitary wipes or tissues to clean the tables and chairs after every customer leaves? Also, throw away all used tissues and sanitary wipes.

This is a no-brainer but this is really not the time to be thinking of cost-cutting measures. Throw anything disposable away.

 

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

This is an F&B business basic but have everyone wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their faces with unclean hands. This is to keep your employees and you virus-free.

Provide a bottle of hand sanitizer at your entrances and counters.

Use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol and have your staff use it frequently to keep germs at bay.

 

Wear fresh uniforms clothes and change them daily.

If you have uniforms for your team, make sure they’re laundered daily so that there are no contaminated clothes being worn to work.

Wear face masks.

Your staff will be coming in contact with your customers and although they may not be sneezing or coughing, you never know if your customer will be.

Hence, have your staff wear protective masks and have them changed frequently.

Masks are especially important for those who are sick to prevent them from spreading germs to others.

 

Cook all meat properly.

The World Health Organization’s guidelines include using different chopping boards and knives for raw meat and cooked food.

They also said to wash hands with soap and water when handling food, whether fresh or cooked.

All fresh produce should be properly handled and thoroughly cooked, to reduce the risk of infection from bacteria or contaminants.

This may seem a bit drastic but perhaps you should temporarily not serve raw foods such as sashimi for a little while. Though this may be unpopular with your patrons, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

Impose a self-quarantine on all sick staff, including yourself.

This does not just apply only to those who recently traveled to countries with outbreaks or those that came in contact with these people but to anyone who is displaying any symptoms similar to the coronavirus.

Request that they stay at home quarantining themselves, monitor their symptoms and take all prescribed medication until they get better. Just in case you’re wondering, the Health Ministry of Malaysia has fixed the quarantine period at 14 days.

Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.