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Coffee stands and food trucks: the hidden risk for getting infected with Covid-19

With the return to routine, it seems that not all the restaurants have yet opened, but the market of take-outs is flourishing. One of the most popular options is coffee stands and food stalls. They can be found in malls, train stations, and in business complexes or even ice-cream trucks at the park, but can these carts selling food and be contagion for Covid-19? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
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It has been proven beyond any doubt that the Covid-19 virus passes through objects. A BBC article revealed that the virus could remain on touch screens or buttons for days after contact with a verified patient. So, How does this affect food and beverage stalls?

  1. Digital menus – Many takeout chains use these days digital menus for offering and checkout. The account is simple: Even if there has been no direct contact of body secretions like direct sneezing yet, dozens of people touch the screen every hour, is the risk for contagion is there.
  2. Credit clearing – the cards are cleared today through a manual machine, including entering a secret code confirmation. In many takeouts, there is even only one single taker for all clients. This means that many people touch the buttons every hour without any disinfection or prevention. The coronavirus is left on plastic for two to three days.
  3. Drinking bottles and personal service – In most stalls, you will find stands for self-service: choosing a salad or sandwich, a drinks refrigerator, a sugar stand and stirrers, a sauce stand, and more. These are positions designed to tailor the product to the personal taste of the consumer, but they can be a Point of infection: people who choose a product and regret it, taking too many items and returning them after smelling or touching them, and more. Since this is the last step before start eating, people usually removing the mask and not washing their hands again.

So, what can be done? One of the main problems is the manner of disinfection, especially if the contact of a verified patient in the vicinity of the stall is known. Chemical and biological disinfection is very problematic in a food environment because of the remaining. The solution? Dry disinfection using UV light, which leaves no residue or toxins and immediately confirms work in a sterile environment that ensures the health of the stand operators and customers.

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