With modern advances in technology, certified food managers and touch screen devices are becoming inseparable.Managers rely more and more on handheld and mobile devices for everything from scanning and checking in deliveries to giving servers the ability to place an order directly from a guest’s table. These devices make our jobs easier, but are they creating a new risk that could possibly spread food-borne illnesses?
Sanitation, Certified Food Managers and Touch Screen Devices
While these touch screens may look clean, over the course of a workday, or even with one use, bacteria and other potential contaminates will transfer from the user’s fingers onto the surface. These contaminates can then be transferred to the hands of anyone else handling the device and make their way onto plates, serving utensils and prepared food.
Current trends show that these touch screens are not only utilized by front-of-the-house staff, they are becoming more popular in the back of the house as well. Some kitchens have replaced the receipt ticker with a screen where filled orders can be swiped away with the flick of the finger and tablets are being used for everything from inventory control to time clocks. The back of the house presents the greatest risk of cross contamination, so extra care must be taken when handling these devices in food preparation areas.
Handwashing and training will be key to keeping your food safe. Certified food managers need to remind every member of their staff that they must wash their hands after using one of these devices for any reason. It may not occur to them that a simple swipe with one finger could result in a contaminated product. It may also be wise to ask your janitorial or food service provider if they have a product that will safely sanitize your touch screens without damaging them.
Do you utilize touch screens in your operation? If so, let us know how in the comments section below.