As businesses across Europe slowly come out of lockdown, by necessity we now have to work out how best to handle tasks we may have previously taken for granted. COVID-19 has caused a rapid change in consumer perceptions of the devices around us, including vending machines. As the vending world adjusts to the new norms and expectations, as a company that is committed to safety from its origins, we wanted to give you some tips on how to restart your vending and OCS business safely.
Vending machines are very safe and here are the reasons why:
- There is no need for human interaction when purchasing a drink or snack, machine surfaces and keypads are disinfected against viruses
- Vending machine operators, fillers and technicians place food safety and hygiene as top priorities in their daily service, and are trained in both personal hygiene and protection against infections.
- Touch screens can be used to remind consumers how to protect themselves from the virus and the importance of maintaining social distance in front of the machines
- Single use cups are the most hygienic method of consuming a beverage on the go
- Contactless payment with a card or phone is preferred by consumers because they don’t have to touch the card machine’s keypad
- The products cannot be handled before being purchased unlike other retail environments such as supermarkets.
How do I keep my machines COVID-19 safe?
- Utilize the machines’ touch screens to communicate to the user how to use the vending machine and the W.H.O health safety requirements. You can combine this with other communication channels commonly used in your organization or business. If your machines don’t have touch screens you can use the lower and upper photographic panels of the machine or appropriate spaces located in the payments area for pre-printed.
- You can apply social distancing floor signs on the floor.
Which are the W.H.O requirements regarding health safety?
- Users must keep the distances while waiting to use the equipment (at least 1 meter away from each user)
- Use gloves and protective masks to protect themselves and the other users.
- Leave immediately the area after the withdrawal of a drink or product and consume in another area
Hand sanitizer, gloves and mask are operator’s new best friends.
Before any filling or cleaning operation operators must wash their hands with soap and water, wear a protective mask and a new pair of disposable gloves. When operators are working on the machines must wash their hands often and thoroughly with soap and water, for at least 60 seconds. Carrying a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer makes it easy to disinfect their hands when soap and water are not available. We recommend to the operators not to touch their personal items such as mobile phones before/ while working on or stocking a machine. Phones and other objects used frequently should be decontaminated daily, using a 70% isopropyl alcohol spray or other disinfection method.
Make sure that your disinfectant solution has 70% alcohol (ethanol) or 0.1% chlorine-based (bleach).
Sources: I.S.S and W.H.O.
Which are the focus cleaning areas?
- For touch screens/selection panels, it is recommended to use only isopropyl alcohol (with an alcohol percentage of at least 70%) and avoid other detergents that could damage the screen. Use a soft micro-fibre or lint-free cloth to gently wipe the screen. Dampen the cloth with water, glass or a screen lens cleaner to wipe the glass and dry.
- Clean thoroughly the change-giver buttons and areas for inserting coins / accepting banknotes or credit cards.
Specific to Hot Drink Machines and OCS Machines:
- Clean the cup catcher and drain pipe in the sanitizer solution. Rinse the components with clean water and dry thoroughly.
- Wash the drip tray and grille thoroughly and sanitise using the diluted bactericidal cleaner solution.
- Wipe clean cup stand and dispense area using a clean, damp sanitised cloth
Specific to Cold Drink/Snack/Food Machines:
- Use glass cleaner and disposable towels to clean the glass inside/out.
- Clean the front of monetary panel with a plastic cleaner. Don’t use ammonia based cleaners as it may cause premature crazing of the polycarbonate surface.
- Delivery cup and Delivery Port must be cleaned inside out with a mild soap and water solution to remove any spills or residue. Don’t forget to wipe and dry.
How do I restart the machine after temporary shutdown?
The following instructions assume that your coffee machines has been switched off and inactive for an extended period.
- Before starting on the machine, if a water filter is connected, either replace it or follow the filter manufacturer’s instructions on how to flush it.
- Flush three (3) times the whole espresso system with hot water.
- Place a suitable container under the dispense nozzles. Switch the machine ON and allow the machine to fill up and reach operating temperature.
- Remove all the instant ingredient canisters and discard the old ingredients. Sanitize and dry the ingredient canisters and nozzles before replenishing them with fresh ingredients.
- Remove the coffee bean hopper, discard all the beans and sanitise. Refit the hopper and replenish it with fresh beans.
- Carry out a CoEx tablet clean.
- Flush all pipework, mixing systems and CoEx brewer with fresh hot water using the internal service keypad.
- Remove all mixing components and dispense pipes and sanitize them.
- Clean and sanitize all surfaces inside and outside the machine including the door.
- Refit all the mixing system parts, pipes and ingredient canisters.
- Carry out another 2 system rinses.
- Close the door, place a cup in the hot water vend position and vend four cups of hot water.
- Test vend all drinks to ensure the quantity and high quality is as expected.
- Your coffee machine is now ready for use.
The following instructions assume that your snack/cold drink machines has been switched off and inactive for an extended period
- Thoroughly clean the machine and in particular the buttons, touchscreens and glass window.
- Remove products and clean the interior shelves and dispensing area.
- Check the stock for sell by dates. Replace products as necessary. If the machine was turned off and not refrigerated as normal, product quality may have suffered and need replacing.
- Check the temperature is correct for the product range.