At a time when negative news and online reviews can spread instantly to an expansive audience of potential patrons, their potential to undermine a venue’s reputation and bottom line success is greater than ever. That means even an isolated incident related to foodservice cleanliness could easily “go viral” online and quickly become a problem. The good news? Exclusive antimicrobial technology, unveiled by Libbey® Foodservice at this year’s National Restaurant Association (NRA) show, provides an added level of protection for the dinnerware itself—something previously unseen in the category.
Cleanliness on the Mind: A Survey of Foodservice Pros
It should come as no surprise that in a recent blind survey sent to chefs and food and beverage buyers, participants selected reputation as the most worrisome consequence food safety and hygiene issues could have on their business.
At the top of the list of concerns, survey participants ranked the presence of bacteria and cross contamination—and the majority saw employee hygiene and handling practices as the principle concern for foodservice cleanliness. The facts support those concerns. In fact, improper handwashing by employees was observed by the FDA in 73 percent of full-service establishments. (1. Food Safety and Cleanliness, R/P Marketing Public Relations, April 2017. 2. “Factors Related to Food Worker Hand Hygiene Practices,” Vol. 70, Journal of Food Protection, 2007)
What Could Go Wrong?
Foodservice and hospitality environments can face many challenges when it comes to maintaining optimal cleanliness to protect your dinnerware – and a complete system of cleanliness requires careful planning and protection at every touchpoint on the journey from the kitchen to the patron, and back again. Consider just a few of the areas of concern:
• Dinnerware that sits out for extended periods without being cleaned (in settings ranging from buffets to room service)
• Imperfect adherence by employees to cleanliness requirements
• Improper temperatures during dishwasher cycles
• Wet dinnerware that is stacked coming out of the dishwasher
• Stacking dirty dinnerware post service
• Potential for rodents or bugs to contact stored dinnerware
Dinnerware Innovations Support a Cleaner Foodservice Environment
Fortunately, new technology integrations into trend-forward dinnerware is one of many facets that can help contribute to a system of cleanliness, playing an important role in combating the cleaning and handling challenges foodservice professionals face every day.
At this year’s NRA, Libbey Foodservice unveiled Constellation™ dinnerware. This new line is not only Libbey’s brightest-ever white porcelain, it’s also the industry’s first porcelain dinnerware to incorporate Microban® technology, antimicrobial protection that is integrated directly into the glaze of the dinnerware to protect the products.
“At Libbey, we’re always looking for ways to apply our insights and research to solve the challenges of foodservice and hospitality professionals in new ways,” said Susan J. Dountas, director of marketing for Libbey Foodservice. “This new level of proactive defense in dinnerware provides them added confidence in foodservice cleanliness—it’s working 24/7 to protect the dinnerware and their reputation.”
Microban technology helps inhibit the growth of odor- and stain-causing microbes on the dinnerware – adding to the inherent protection of the fully vitrified glaze. This can minimize microbial growth and help inhibit the spread of bacteria on the surface of the dinnerware.
“Microban technology provides a lifetime of protection and keeps the products cleaner and fresher for longer,” said Lance Fox, senior director at Microban International. “Our partnership with Libbey provides foodservice operators a meaningful solution that ultimately supports their efforts to enhance the dining experience and continue putting their patrons first.”
Microban protection uses silver-based technology that penetrates the cell wall of the microorganism, hindering its ability to function, grow or reproduce, thus controlling odors, stains and product deterioration. Because it uses Earth’s elements to protect the surface from microbes, the technology is certified for food contact.
Protection in Numbers
No single technology or solution can alone provide complete protection. However, a successful combination of employee education, cleanliness practices and protective technologies, such as Constellation dinnerware with Microban technology, can create a winning system of cleanliness. It’s a quiet way to help protect a venue’s reputation and ensure the rave reviews keep flooding in.
Learn about adding a new level of defense to your business at foodservice.libbey.com.