By Andrea Moore, EHS 2
As food service establishments are reopening their dining areas to patrons, there have been questions as to what kind of disinfectants can be used for tables, countertops, and other commonly touched areas in a restaurant. Many restaurant owners and managers have expressed concerns about mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 by ensuring the cleaning products that are used in their facility to clean and disinfect common contact surfaces are effective against the virus.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the List N: Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19 that includes EPA registered surface disinfectants including wipes for contact surfaces only. Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces which can further lower the risk of spreading infections. The EPA expects products on this list to kill the virus because they demonstrate effectiveness against a harder to kill virus or another similar human coronavirus. Hand sanitizers, antiseptic washes and antibacterial soaps are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, won’t be listed on the EPA list. However, if EPA-approved List N disinfectants are not accessible, unscented bleach can be used as an alternative disinfectant. Please keep in mind that you want to always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use. If wiping food contact surfaces, such as dining room tables, be sure to follow label instructions for use on food contact surfaces.
The following are instructions for using bleach as an alternative disinfectant:
- 1/3 cup of unscented bleach added to 1 gallon of water. Do not mix bleach with other cleaning and disinfecting products because this can cause fumes that are very dangerous to breathe in.
Additionally, the links below have been provided for EPA- approved disinfectants and tips for using disinfectants safely and effectively:
As we continue the fight against COVID-19, enhancing sanitation by disinfecting common surfaces regularly will help to prevent the spread of the virus. For example: Disinfect tables between diners, clean and sanitize table condiments, digital ordering devices, check presenters, self-service areas, tabletops and commonly touched areas, and discard single-use items.
We appreciate your cooperation and diligence to maintain a safe and healthy environment for patrons during these uncertain times. We will get through this! Thank you for all that you do !
FREE COVID-19 testing is available – registration is required www.cdphcovid19testing.org