FPA QUESTIONS SCIENCE ON SAFETY OF REUSABLES
FPA QUESTIONS SCIENCE ON SAFETY OF REUSABLES: STATEMENT FROM THE FOODSERVICE PACKAGING ASSOCIATION
Executive Director Martin Kersh said: “The Foodservice Packaging Association looks forward to the return of reusables but only at such time their acceptance is scientifically proven to represent no risk to operators’ employees. The Greenpeace announcement on first sight could lead operators to believing this science is in place. However, on closer examination the evidence presented is the opinions of the scientists named. The priority must be to protect operators’ employees and it is vital they feel safe and protected and so evidenced-based research on this virus and reusables is needed. The progress on dealing with the pandemic could easily be undone by introducing procedures which are not sufficiently robust with foodservice operators falsely believing they are safe in using reusables. For example, there is no point in saying reusables should be hygienically clean, the public need to know the exact procedure for cleaning them including the water temperature. This advice must also include reusables for food and for self-serve in vending.
“The FPA is a member of the Conscious Cup Campaign set up by City To Sea. This group has agreed that the decision to recommend the acceptance of reusables by operators must be based on science and we have counselled the opinions of food hygiene and safety experts. They are clear that the greater the number of touch points, the greater the risk. The three UK scientists named by Greenpeace are eminent in their fields but none makes claim to be an expert in coronavirus nor in food science, hygiene and safety. One is an expert in polymers, another is a marine biologist and the third a biological anthropologist interested in how humans influence and adapt to changing environmental conditions.
“A good source of advice comes from the well-respected United States based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This guidance was last updated on 27 May and includes the following advice: “’Avoid use of food and beverage utensils and containers brought in by customers”. Source here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/business-employers/bars-restaurants.html
“We feel this is the default position for operators to protect their employees. Once it can be proven there is no element of risk, then we should all welcome the safe return of reusables. Government certainly needs to be a lot clearer in its advice and a statement advising the decision is down to operators is far from helpful. Clearly defined procedures backed up by evidence of safety is needed as we look forward to the successful reopening of hospitality.
Ends 23 June 2020
Issued on behalf of the Foodservice Packaging Association by Leapfrog PR. Editorial contact is firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01242 282000.