Handwashing has never been more in the public eye than over the past two years, when the Covid-19 pandemic made us all more aware than ever of hygiene and how to prevent the spread of disease.
Clean hands are a critical component of good health. Handwashing can prevent about 20% of respiratory infections
People frequently touch their eyes, nose and mouth, often without realizing it, and can easily convey illness-causing germs into their bodies in this way. Frequent and effective handwashing with soap can reduce the amount of pathogens on hands.
Because of this, the CDC identifies before eating as one of the key times to wash hands
Making handwashing accessible and convenient can not only improve hygiene but also boost perception of your establishment in the eyes of guests.
The current state of handwashing
Handwashing facilities are almost always in public restrooms, but this arrangement can be problematic for a couple reasons.
First, restrooms have a potentially well-earned reputation for not always being clean. A 2014 study showed that one hour of normal use can leave 500,000 bacterial cells per square inch on bathroom surfaces.
And they're not always convenient to access, often situated in the rear of the building or along a far wall in most facilities - not in areas that are visible or that promote or encourage handwashing at key times, like right before eating.
Expanding access to handwashing facilities can subtly influence people to wash up more frequently, boosting hygiene. Studies in healthcare settings have shown that increasing the number and improving the accessibility of sinks increases compliance with handwashing best practices.
Making a change
Increasing the number of handwashing opportunities is an important step, but installing additional permanent sinks can be difficult or impossible to achieve or may be cost-prohibitive.
Portable sink stations offer a more readily accessible alternative in standalone restaurants, food halls, college dining halls, school cafeterias, food courts, corporate cafeterias or anywhere people gather to eat.
Handwash stations placed in visible and easily accessible areas - near the entrance, in and around dining areas or in waiting areas - provide a visual cue to wash up prior to eating.
Additionally, providing clean and easy-to-use handwashing facilities, like a handwash station with a hands-free sensor faucet, can demonstrate to diners that you are committed to their health and safety.
A survey conducted during the pandemic revealed that 76% of consumers say restaurant cleanliness and food safety will always matter more now than it did before the pandemic. Encouraging employees to use these highly visible stations for some of their regular washing needs can also emphasize your facility's commitment to hygiene.
Portable handwash stations from T&S are available in a variety of models and can be installed in areas with or without access to water, sewer or electricity hookups. Discover the perfect solution for your needs here.