How K-12 School Foodservice Can Best Prepare For The New School Year
The way food will be served and handled in K-12 schools this upcoming fall will be drastically different from the norm. Here are some ways we recommend preparing to keep your foodservice running safely and efficiently.
Encourage Bagged Lunches and Pre-Packaged Foods
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy and safe environment for K-12 foodservice is to provide pre-packaged food options instead of traditional buffet or family-style offerings. Offering individually-plated items greatly reduces the spread of germs by reducing handling and transmission pathways. Insulated food transport options from CAMBRO make transporting and storing premade food offerings easy.
Eat Meals In Classrooms
Eating meals in classrooms instead of communal lunchroom settings also helps prohibit the additional exchange of contaminants. The CDC recommends encouraging students to bring their meals from home to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Change Classroom Layouts
Desks and/or seats should be spaced six feet apart when possible and should all face the same direction instead of having students face each other when eating or drinking. The installation of barriers such as Eastern Tabletops Partition Shields and Mobile Floor Partition Shields should also be utilized when appropriate, particularly in areas where keeping a six-foot distance is not possible. If food services are still being provided, it is a good idea to post signs to remind kids and adults about keeping a six-foot distance. Arrows on the floor that create a one-way route can also help reduce multi-directional traffic flow and keep kids moving in the same direction.
Embrace Disposable Options
Reducing the number of times an object is handled by multiple people reduces the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, it is recommended that disposable food service items, such as utensils, serving plates, etc, be used instead of reusable items. If using disposable items is not feasible, ensure that all food service items are handled with gloves and washed with soap and hot water or ideally in a dishwasher.
Encourage Best-Hygiene Practices
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases is to be diligent about handwashing and sanitation practices. Especially in a K-12 environment where germs are abundant, reinforcing the importance of handwashing is a necessity in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Encourage students and employees to wash their hands with soap and hot water for at least two minutes and keep sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it nearby for when hand washing isn’t an option.
You can make it more convenient for them to do so with the CAMBRO CamKiosk Hand Sink Cart. It’s a portable hand-washing system that can be placed in classrooms, hallways, closets, or other convenient areas. Additionally, John Boos Hands-Free Sanitizer Dispenser and Stand can also make hygiene as convenient as possible. Along with hand washing and hand sanitizing, mask-wearing should also be enforced at all times, especially when preparing and serving meals and when distancing is not possible.
Elevation Reps Is Here For You
We can help you devise solutions for every area of your foodservice facilities. For additional help and advice on preparing for K-12 food service for the upcoming school year, get in touch with us today.