We have always talked about restaurant and bar safety, but with the spread of the coronavirus in Italy, eyes are even more focused on the sector. There are many doubts and if we have found some answers from a health point of view , those related to job security persist. We have collected the most frequently asked questions from horeca managers and employees and asked them to Mattia Parizzi, safety manager at OMEN Consulenze .
What are the main difficulties encountered so far in terms of safety at work?
It is a complex question, because we are facing a situation that has never been faced before. From a purely technical point of view , catering was already used to preventive safety measures and the implementation has led to raising attention to the maximum. From an economic point of view, however, the extraordinary situation has weighed and is weighing on the costs for the development of precautionary procedures related to the coronavirus.
Let's talk about the daily sanitation of the place. What are the main rules?
As I mentioned earlier, the food and restaurant sector are the least affected by safety strategies, because they were already implemented in a specific and incisive way for the working environment. To date there are two steps: cleaning and sanitization. They must be carried out 2 times a day in total, even if in reality it is easy to do because tables, administration counter and machinery must be constantly sanitized.
If you want to operate autonomously, how can you certify sanitation?
Sanitization can be carried out directly by the sector operator, the ISS publishes guidelines updated daily regarding food hygiene practices, the environment and air conditioning systems. Certified disinfectants are available on the market, but in a guideline it is said that the sanitation proper should be done by those who are responsible for it, or by those who possess the technical and professional requirements linked to the ATECO code referring to cleaning and sanitization. Companies and restaurateurs could also operate independently , but we always recommend having the first global sanitization carried out by a competent external company.
A doubt that is arising with the onset of heat is the use of air conditioning. It is allowed, but under what conditions?
Air conditioning must be used by law in food establishments where there is an obligation of controlled temperatures or for personal needs in the summer season. In fact, it is necessary to respect minimum and maximum temperatures inside public places, and the simplest and most humane means of maintaining them is air conditioning, which simply must be sanitized correctly to avoid the collection of the virus.
Many locals choose to make a personalized mask. Which one to choose among the available models?
These are products that need certifications carried out on the basis of technical standards and legislation. In recent months, following the shortage of personal protective equipment, community masks had been examined, but they do not act as a filtering barrier. The surgical mask protects the community, and therefore the clientele of a club, not the wearer, such as bartenders and waiters. The FFP2 and 3, on the other hand, provide almost total filtering power.
On the other hand, what are the procedures to follow regarding the disposal of the protections?
There is still no standard procedure on the disposal of PPE, despite the fact that there has been a lot of talk about it in recent days. Currently, masks are disposed of as residual waste, while latex and neoprene gloves go into plastic.
From the point of view of the horeca operator, what is the load of stress involved in working in the time of the coronavirus?
On an emotional level the load is a lot and it has repercussions on a psychophysical level. We are in an emergency situation and, as already happened during the 2008 crisis, the work-related stress factor is on the rise. There are many reasons, but the coronavirus has certainly increased the level of emotional and physical stress. Just think of what it will be like to work in the middle of summer for a waiter who wears a mask - or even a full face mask - at 40° and with subjects who could be virus carriers, because anyone could potentially carry it. It's a heavy context, which overloads the worker with the risk of burnout is around the corner.
Do you recommend it is better to rotate more employees to reduce the risk of burnout?
Yes, certainly. At an organizational level, shift work lowers stress for everyone, but from the point of view of job security, the number of people linked to an environment also increases. The law says to expose the smallest number of people to a problem, but at the moment it seems to be more emergency to rotate the staff.
A piece of advice for venue managers who have to deal with this moment.
First of all, don't lose your temper and don't get emotionally unbalanced by the media bombardment if it starts again. When we implement the correct security measures, we must not panic. I recommend that you always inquire on the website of the Ministry of Health and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, remembering that the reference AUSL provide consultancy services by law and to rely on a professional when employers would like to feel even more relaxed.
Consulting in these moments helps to optimize forces to improve even more, even when it comes to business. We at Techfood are available to help you find the most suitable sales formula for your restart, contact us for a free consultation .