There's Nothing Chicken About Antimicrobials in the Foodservice Industry

Explore antimicrobial solutions that can help the food service industry address surface hygiene and cleanliness.

The phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is not one we typically accept in foodservice facilities. In fact, cleanliness can be the ultimate green (or red!) light when deciding where to eat.

Generally, food and beverage companies place food safety as a top priority, following strict regulations and guidelines. However, there are still many strategies that can be adopted to further improve the hygiene of our favourite food establishments.

If you’re operating within the food industry and looking to make changes today for a cleaner tomorrow, read on.

One touch is all it takes

This year, consumers saw the mass adoption of QR codes in food service outlets: from small stamps printed on table tops to entire contactless ordering systems, all intended to reduce touch points between people - or so we thought.

Digital menu boards utilised in fast-food establishments accounted for 20% of the digital signage industry in 2020. However, in addition to displaying mouth-watering content, these touch screen surfaces have been shown to harbour high levels of microorganisms - despite regular cleaning.

Integrating antimicrobial technologies into high-touch surfaces can be instrumental to maintaining cleaner foodservice establishments. Manufactured into a range of products, including laminated surfaces and coatings for touch screen kiosks, built-in antimicrobial protection will work 24/7 to inhibit degrading bacterial growth. Antimicrobial technologies have also been proven effective against foodborne illness-causing bacteria, including Salmonella and Campylobacter - offering added peace of mind for F&B companies and their customers.

“By incorporating antimicrobial technology into the design of surfaces especially in high traffic areas within a restaurant, fast food businesses can help to protect surfaces, their business, and reputation."

- Anna Harris, R&D Project Manager at MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions

Microbes on the menu?

Putting a tasty menu together that will make customers salivate (hopefully not on the menu itself) is something every food establishment strives for. However, you could be getting more than a satisfying meal with your next order.

Let’s face it, we’ve all been there: carefully pinching the corners of a menu to flick through the pages, or taking a wild guess at the name of a main course that is hidden beneath dried-on food residues (at least, that’s what we think they are!). Typically laminated or made from plastic, menus are known to be one of the dirtiest items in an entire restaurant.

We think it’s time you serve your customers with smarter menus that stay hygienically cleaner for longer. Integrated at the stage of manufacture, built-in antimicrobial product protection helps reduce unwanted microbial growth on the menu’s surface, ensuring it remains cleaner for longer. The antimicrobial protection also extends the usable lifespan of the menu and delivers much-needed peace of mind for anxious consumers.

“Product innovation has built our company into one of the largest and most trusted menu producers, helping drive restaurant sales through the deployment of intelligent menu strategies. Incorporating Microban® silver ion technologies into our menus seemed a natural fit for both the consumer and the restaurant owner.”

- Pete Glennon, Owner and Founder of MenuWorks

Gross ice, baby

Often served in a drink or used to keep certain ingredients chilled, ice comes with a variety of food safety challenges.

Putting aside what to do if there is broken glass near the ice, the ice machine itself can collect dirt and foster mould growth. A study from BBC’s Watchdog Live uncovered high levels of bacteria typically found in the gut and associated with feaces, in samples of ice or soda across the UK. Now that’s what we call chilling findings!

Fortunately, built-in antimicrobial protection can be integrated into all components of ice machines and drinks dispensers to deliver permanent surface protection against bacteria and mould. This not only creates hygienically cleaner equipment but also complements regular cleaning routines throughout the day.

Serving the best in antimicrobial technology

Microban is the global leader in built-in antimicrobial technologies. Our use of science and innovation has led us to develop the most diverse portfolio of antimicrobial formulations that work in (or on) any substrate. Even better, these formulations are food-contact approved, making them perfect for integration into a wide range of applications.

If you work with food - whether that be making, packaging, or serving it - talk to Microban today to discover how you can redefine clean in your industry.

Is that enough food for thought?

Talk to a member of the Microban team today to explore antimicrobial solutions for the food industry.

Take a look at some of our partners in the food industry