July 2010
Over The Wire Tissue Edition
Archive/Subscribe | TAPPI.org | Advertise | TAPPI Press Catalog

Research Shows Restaurant-Goers Have Strong Opinions about Hygiene

Print Print this article | Send to Colleague

Recent research conducted by Harris Interactive, New York, N.Y., USA, on behalf of SCA Tissue North America's (Philadelphia, Pa., USA) Tork brand showed that consumers have strong opinions about restaurant cleanliness, particularly when it comes to eating surfaces. The results of the consumer poll conducted online with 2,495 U.S. adults ages 18 and older provide valuable insight and guidance to restaurant owners in terms of how to approach hygiene and cleaning.

For example, 74% of American adults who eat at restaurants say that chefs repeatedly using the same rags to clean food contact surfaces is a very unhygienic practice. Seventy-six percent agree that employees using color-coded cleaning products to prevent cross contamination would by very hygienic. Using disposable wiping products to clean food-contact surfaces is considered very hygienic by 77% of adults who eat at restaurants.

Donna Duberg, an authority on hygiene and disease prevention, believes that consumers have it right; and that restaurant owners need to take surface hygiene seriously if they want to avoid losing business productivity and sales. "Public hygiene, specifically in areas where consumers eat, is top-of-mind with the American public and restaurant owners stand to lose a lot if they aren't paying attention to what is important to their customers," said Duberg, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at St. Louis University and Tork Green Hygiene Council member. "A simple change in practice, such as using single-use, nonwoven food service wipers to clean eating and cooking surfaces, can create a healthier work environment and a more positive consumer experience." Duberg offers the following tips to restaurant owners:

  • Contrary to popular belief, cloth is not as hygienic as single use, nonwoven wipes when it comes to cleaning. Bacteria can live for days on a surface and for weeks on cloth. Because cloth rags and cloth towels used for cleaning are generally kept in dark places and are not always completely dry before they are put away, they become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Single-use wipers clean and then are discarded.
  • Since bacteria can live on cloth for a considerable amount of time, the risk of cross contamination is greater with cloth than with nonwoven wipers. Cloth allows for bacteria from back-of-the-house tasks to easily migrate to the dining area.
  • If cloth must be used, remember that cloth used for cleaning should be sanitized by washing in hot (at least 160 degrees), soapy water.

Additional survey results include:

  • 27% percent feel employees using cloth materials to clean dining tables and chairs is very hygienic, 27% feel this is very unhygienic, and 46% don't feel strongly either way
  • 65% believe that cleaning a dining table with a towel that is free of debris and stains is a very hygienic practice.

For complete survey results and a full methodology statement, contact Mike Kapalko, SCA Tissue, at (920) 720-4550.



Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn


TAPPI Over the Wire - Tissue Edition | 15 Technology Pkwy. S. | Norcross, GA 30092 USA | Voice: 770.446.1400 | Fax: 770.446.6947