COVID-19 FOOD SAFETY: How Elite Cuisine is Protecting Our Guests and Employees
A Message from Our Chief Operating Officer:
I wanted to take this opportunity to update all of our clients and future customers on the precautions Elite Cuisine is taking to safely re-open all of our café’s, eMarts, and vending operations. In March 2020, Elite Cuisine implemented the company pandemic response plan consisting of four phases; moving quickly from a low severity pandemic to a high severity pandemic which ultimately closed most building and their food service operations. We are currently re-opening our operations in phase three of our pandemic plan (medium severity) which focuses on social distancing, wearing masks, sanitizing contact surfaces and using a Touchless protocol for food prep, production and distribution.
As the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas reopen, we will be ready to serve in the highest capacity possible and continue to appreciate the partnerships we have with each one of you. If I can be of any assistance throughout this opening process, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Chief Operating Officer
Elite Cuisine, LLC
COVID -19 Food Safety in Our Corporate Cafés
As a leader in food service safety since 2004, Elite Cuisine is committed to maintaining high standards of foodservice safety. Our clients in Missouri depend on us to be at the forefront of best practices in sourcing, preparing, and serving fresh food in their corporate cafeterias.
Understandably, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised concern about public dining safety, and demands a new set of protocols to protect everyone’s well-being. Elite Cuisine is leading the way in providing business clients with foodservice confidence as employee populations return to workplaces.
Our locally-based and flexible business model sets Elite Cuisine apart from national corporate dining foodservice vendors. Our actively-involved local leaders and accessible front-line managers truly partner with you, to quickly pivot in support of keeping your employees safe, healthy and productive.
We consistently monitor COVID-19 food service safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease and Restaurant Best Practices during COVID-19.
Additionally, you can expect our team to protect yours by going above and beyond standard food safety best practices. We maintain a Food Safety Inspection Report at every location we serve, available for review upon request.
PPE and Safety Tools/Technology to Protect the Health of Our Guests and Employees
In addition to the existing stringent foodservice safety protocols in all of our corporate cafés, Elite Cuisine has implemented extra controls to safeguard the health and safety of our patrons and employees in the COVID-19 environment.
PPE has become three letters many of us are very familiar with now. For us at Elite Cuisine, we take these letters seriously and all of our team members are wearing masks and gloves at all times while working. Our café and catering team members, as well as our route drivers and our warehouse associates, will wear these protective measures to keep our employees safe as well as all of you safe. Each morning upon arrival, all team members have their temperature taken and asked to confirm they are feeling no symptoms of COVID-19.
Precautions we are taking in our cafes to protect our workers, as well as your associates, include the addition of plexiglass shields at cashier stands. To reduce human interaction, and prevent any spread throughout the building, Elite Cuisine is not accepting cash transactions at this time. Several cafes are now using the phone app to pre-order and pay for meals, thus reducing time and practicing social distancing. We have also installed touchless cutlery dispensers, or individually wrapped utensils where these are not an option. All condiments are now in portion control packages and all self-service areas, such as salad bars, are no longer offered. We now have a selection of “Grab & Go” salads and sandwiches.
Employee Health Monitoring and Touchless Thermometers
Before a café staff member can begin work, they visit a check-in station at the staff entrance where their temperature is taken via touchless thermometer. They also complete a brief form in yes/no format to record their answers to these questions: Is your temperature within acceptable parameters? Are you experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? Have you been exposed to anyone with COVID-19?
Employees must follow FDA guidance regarding personal hygiene, and any employee with known or suspected COVID-19 must self-isolate and follow stringent return-to-work requirements.
To prevent contamination, employees are required to wear PPE including:
Hair restraints such as hats, caps, or hair nets
Prevention Barriers and Social Distancing Technology and Protocol
Locations with attended cash register stations feature clear acrylic shields to minimize contact between patrons and staff.
Our technology that we launched years prior to the pandemic such as the PHONE APP to make your purchases in a Touchless manner, are now more relevant than ever. Combined with our "Touchless" food prep standards and social distancing protocol, you can safely shop for your meals and snacks with Elite Cuisine.
Staff members take staggered breaks to limit break room population in support of social distancing.
In Our eMart Micro Markets
Cafes and eMarts have signage posted at each entrance letting customers know the things Elite Cuisine is doing to keep them safe, as well as things they can do to help keep the cafés and markets safe and sanitary.
The floors are marked with signs and markings designating safe social distancing lengths at all areas where customers might cue up to order or pay.
And our PHONE APP is also available for the eMart to scan and make your purchases so you can keep your touches in the eMart to a minimum, helping keep everyone safe!
Display signs at each entrance and floor signs throughout the café guide diners to appropriate ordering or pickup stations, and clearly illustrate the appropriate space for social distancing. Cafes and eMarts have signage posted at each entrance letting customers know the things Elite Cuisine is doing to keep them safe, as well as things they can do to help keep the cafés and markets safe and sanitary. In addition, floors are marked with signs and markings designating safe social distancing lengths at all areas where customers might cue up to order or pay.
Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
Beyond our typical protocols and high standards for cleanliness in our kitchens and customer-facing areas, we’ve added these cleaning and disinfection protocols:
Disinfection of High Touch Points
All surfaces that are repeatedly-touched by diners or café staff are frequently disinfected with EPA-approved disinfectants according to a predetermined schedule. Pin-pad touch screens and checkout counters are disinfected after every use.
In our kitchens, all food preparation surfaces and equipment, beverage equipment, dishware and utensils are also washed, rinsed, and sanitized after use.
Hand Sanitizer Stations at Multiple Locations
EPA-approved disinfectant hand-sanitizer wipes or liquids are available for all guests at café entrances, exits, and cash register stations.
-Appropriate Table Spacing in Dining Areas
We provide our corporate clients with guidance for updating floor plans with café table spacing and seating arrangements that ensure the appropriate separation between dining patrons.