As the trend toward sustainability grows, and plastic straws become the target of increasing government regulations, businesses are looking for alternatives for the traditional plastic straw. There are several available alternatives, and selecting the best one for your foodservice program can be confusing. Some options are more sustainable while others are more durable, but all are more expensive than plastic straws.
Popular in most cafeterias, breakrooms, office kitchens, and other eateries, bins or dispensers are filled with disposable cutlery for guests to take and use with their meal or snack. Often not considered as a large part of your foodservice operation, disposable cutlery can be costing your business more than you think. When disposable cutlery is placed in a bin, it can encourage visitors to take more than they need, and even allow guests to touch multiple pieces, increasing the likelihood of cross-contamination.
New technology is constantly being developed to increase efficiencies and simplify processes, and that is no different in the janitorial services industry. Innovative new products streamline cleaning procedures, increase employee productivity, and provide you with a quicker return on your investment. In the commercial cleaning industry, innovative products from dispensers to floor pads are similar in that they aim to boost worker productivity. Increasing worker productivity through product innovation is one of the best ways to reduce your costs.
Single-use plastic bags have been the target of state bans and legislation as their impact becomes more and more realized. The amount of plastic bags in the environment has become a huge problem because Americans alone use approximately 100 billion plastic bags a year, but only an estimated 1% get returned for recycling each year. Plastic takes years to decompose and even when they break down, they do not fully degrade. Plastic breaks down into microplastics or tiny pieces of plastics. Microplastics contaminate the environment and the food sources of humans and animals. More and more businesses in the affected states that provide patrons with single-use, lightweight plastic bags to take merchandise home, such as grocery stores, department stores, liquor stores, restaurants, convenience stores, and other retail stores will need to find alternatives to single-use plastic bags.
Without proper cleaning and sanitization procedures, foodservice operators are putting their customers at increased risk of foodborne illness. A food poisoning outbreak will negatively affect customer’s perception and satisfaction with your business, giving your business a bad reputation. A bad reputation can mean lost sales and may even put you out of business.
Recently, the media has brought attention to an increase in food package tampering, heightening concerns among food service providers and their customers. As a result, tamper-evident packaging is more important than ever. In June of 2019, a woman filmed herself removing a tub of ice cream from her local Walmart’s freezer, opening it, licking the top of the ice cream, and then closing the lid and putting the ice cream back on the shelf. The video was then shared to her instagram account. Soon after, the video went viral and news of this event caused a string of copycat offenses. To further grow consumer concerns, just a few days after the initial ice cream incident, news outlets shared more food tampering cases in which people were opening liquid product containers, gargling some of it, spitting it back into the container, and returning them to the shelf. As a result, many consumers questioned why the products were not packaged with greater protective features to reduce the risk of product tampering.
Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) can be intimidating to first time users, and even veterans, who may be using a new or different cleaning product for the first time. It is important for anyone handling or using commercial cleaning supplies to become familiarized with SDSs. Understanding how to read and apply the information on a Safety Data Sheet will allow you to work more safely and to do your job better. This article will clarify the sections of a safety data sheet and allow you to become more familiar with the format and contents of one.
In recent years, the demand for more sustainable packaging has been growing steadily. As a result, many companies have adopted the use of molded fiber and bagasse food packaging. Molded fiber and bagasse are considered some of the most environmentally friendly food packaging options because they “close the loop”. Molded fiber is constructed from post-consumer content, and bagasse is made from renewable resources like sugarcane or wheatgrass. When they are discarded, the majority of these products can be commercially composted, breaking down and leaving a smaller footprint on the earth. Molded fiber and bagasse became a signal to consumers that a food establishment cares about the environment. Many health-conscious establishments like healthcare facilities, fast-casual dining, and farm-to-table restaurants use this as their food packaging of choice. But a recent article by the New Food Economy has alerted consumers and foodservice operators of the use of PFAS in molded fiber and bagasse food packaging.
Slips and falls are the number one accident problem in commercial kitchens. Slips and falls are also a leading cause of workers’ compensation claims. 85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors. Greasy kitchen floors are a major contributor to this problem. Commercial kitchen floors present special challenges and require unique care to provide a safe and clean walking surface. In addition to an increased risk of injury and higher insurance premiums, dirty and slippery floors can lead to negative sanitation and safety reviews, both of which can easily ruin a food operation’s reputation.
Plastic foam or polystyrene is one of the most widely used types of plastics due to its low cost, moldable qualities, and its capability to generate its lightweight counterpart EPS (Styrofoam). Its various desirable performance attributes such as heat tolerance and retention and it's low-cost, has made it the preferred takeout container for many restaurants and businesses. Until recently, that is. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the negative effects of foam on the environment and human health, and are demanding more sustainable options. As a result, state and local bans and regulations have been enacted to reduce the use of polystyrene products. Regulations, legislative pressures, customer demands and the trend towards sustainability are requiring businesses that use Styrofoam foodservice products to source more sustainable options.
As a business that serves food, providing clean and spot free wares is critical to customer satisfaction. Over 80% of consumers say that dirty wares have a negative impact on their dining experience when eating out. Consumers associate spotty wares with dirt and carelessness, discouraging them from dining at the same place again. Providing your customers with the best dining experience means ensuring they will have spot free wares every time. Clean wares will help you retain customers and grow repeat business. But for some businesses, achieving those spot free wares can be a costly, time-consuming challenge.