Plexiglass shields at Cost-U-Less checkout counters
PHILIPSBURG–The Food Safety Division of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Inspectorate said it has observed violations concerning food safety requirements in establishments that are permitted to open to the public during this outbreak.
“The virus being able to survive in the air, on objects and clothing for various lengths of time makes the preventive measures and follow-up essential if these public gathering spots are to remain operational,” said the division in a press release on Friday.
Supermarkets, minimarkets and outlets are required to implement measures.
All customers and staff, including management and security, should sanitise hands prior to entering the building. The division encourages these establishments to spray all customers’ hands with minimum 70 per cent alcohol.
Maximum capacity for any operation should not exceed five square metres per person including staff. All entrance doors should remain open if not automatic. Persons must be encouraged to maintain a safe distance from each other through the use of signs and security enforcement where possible. Railings and counters should be wiped, sprayed or sanitised minimally every 30 minutes.
The division said staff of these establishments must also adhere to social distancing when possible. Staff should report any illness or symptoms to management and should be sent home immediately. Staff observing any customers coughing or sneezing should report to security or management immediately. Staff should also report any dangerous or unsafe behaviour of any person, staff or customer.
Social distancing is also required to be followed amongst co-workers, said the release. Staff should remove clothing and follow handwashing guidelines prior to lunch break. Ideally staff should change uniform shirt or blouse every four hours when in constant contact with customers; i.e., cashiers, stockers. “When gloves are being used, ensure that they are changed and proper handwashing procedures followed,” said the release.
All cashiers should practice sanitising their area prior to shift and minimally every 30 minutes, ideally after every interaction. When handling cash, cashiers should avoid physical contact with the other person. Cashiers are encouraged to ensure a quick and speedy process to minimise time with customer, and limit personal interactions. Cashiers should wash their hands every 30 minutes. Cash screen/keys/pan and swipe machines must also be sanitised (wiped or sprayed) after each use.
All aisles in the establishment should be clear and free of boxes to allow easy flow of traffic and prevent bottlenecks where persons need to be in close proximity. Shelves and displayed products should be dusted and sprayed with Lysol or a similar agent every hour, said the division. All doors and drawers that require human touch should be sanitised minimally every 30 minutes. Prior to opening and closing, all aisles and products displayed should be dusted and sprayed, said the release.
The division said all doors and handles to coolers and freezers must be sanitised every 30 minutes. Open display coolers’ sides need to be sanitised every 30 minutes.
Fresh product display areas should have signs asking customers to shop visually and not touch produce and return to shelf. The division advises all establishments to maintain sanitisation and cleanliness, and to limit stock displayed to a minimum.
All nonessential staff and staff with underlying health issues should not be allowed to work and should be in self-isolation, said the release. Schedules should be structured by way of shifts and groups (group A works shift A) and physical interaction between groups and shifts should be limited.
All establishments’ handwashing stations should be located within 10 metres of staff. All handwashing stations should contain running water under pressure. Handwashing stations should contain soap, disposable paper towels and hand sanitiser. Staff are required to wash their hands every hour when not in direct contact with customers and every 30 minutes when in contact with customers.
“All staff are required to start shift in clean washed clothing and are required to take a minimum two showers a day prior to and after every shift. Staff are forbidden to use cell phones or smoke during shift. Jewellery is prohibited to be worn during one’s shift under the present conditions and all personal items should be stored in a safe location not readily accessible to staff,” said the release.
All public access equipment needs to be sanitised every hour. Self-service items should not be offered and equipment cleaned, sanitised and covered; this includes juicers and coffee stations. All equipment in use should be sanitised as per operating procedure. Air conditioning filters and vents need to be cleaned and sanitised as per operating procedure.
According to the division, all carts and baskets are required to be washed daily prior to opening. All carts and baskets also need to be sanitised every 30 minutes by means of wiping the handles and dusting/spraying the interior. Sanitiser wipes should also be made available to customers and packer staff.
All vehicles used by staff should contain sanitation wipes. All door handles are to be sanitised as used. All contact surfaces such as steering wheel, shifter, emergency brake, seatbelt buckle, window handle or buttons, and radio knob are to be wiped. Staff are advised to refrain from using public transportation (buses).
The division said proper use of gloves is essential and requires more focus from the establishments. The proper facemasks are to be used when handling ready-to-eat food. Gloves and proper procedures are to be used when preparing ready-to-eat foods.
All public areas of any given operation are to be washed and cleaned daily prior to opening. This includes front of entrance area, floors, walls and receiving area. All restrooms are to be cleaned and sanitised every 30 minutes during operating hours and maintained with paper towels, soap and hand-sanitiser. Sanitising wipes should be made available to customers using restrooms, according to the release.
Curaçao groceries packer with social distancing message on t-shirt