A Quick Guide to Maintaining and Replacing Your Sneeze Guards

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October 3, 2016

As a restaurant owner or caterer, the sneeze guard is an essential buffer between germs created by your guests and your excellent food. Whenever you are in a buffet situation, sneeze guards provide this buffer. After all, without a food guard, it’s very hard to muster a “Bless You” to sneezing or coughing guests. Depending on how often you use it, a good food guard can last a decade or more. A beat-up or dated food guard reflects poorly on your business. You want your entire setup to shine, so don’t skimp.

How to Maintain Your Sneeze Guards

Keeping surfaces clean and sanitary is pretty easy as long as you follow proper food clean up at the end of an event or work day. Setting cleaning procedures followed by staff is a good way to make sure this gets done. It’s good to clean the glass and rails every day before and after usage. For cleanup, here are a few tips learned by our family owned business with more than 30 years serving Philadelphia and the tristate area:

Use a soft, clean cloth with food-safe glass cleaners, only. If a food-safe cleaner isn’t available, use mild soap and water to wipe down sneeze guards. Never use anything abrasive on the rails or glass; this can cause permanent damage.

Regularly check screws or brackets and tighten, gently, if needed. If you see signs of rust, you can replace the item.

Inspect the glass for cracks, scratches or other damage that can cause problems.

Make sure the sneeze guard is at the proper tilt to protect the food. Readjust it, if needed. (Don’t make it too tight, you can crack it!)

Sneeze guards can be functional as well as stylish; if they clash with your restaurant’s decor or don’t fit into their surroundings, they may come across as garish.

How Do You Know It’s Time to Replace Your Sneeze Guards/Rails?

Sneeze guards are built to last, but nothing lasts forever. Sometimes it’s time to replace the old with the new. Visible wear and tear are telltale signs that you’re in the market for a new food guard, especially if there is damage like cracks or scratches visible on the glass or acrylic. Keep an eye on rust or peeling finishes. Many adjustable sneeze guards wear out in a bit less than ten years if they are often adjusted.

There are also a few other reasons you may end up in the market for a new sneeze guard. For example, if you own a catering service that is transforming from full-service to self-service, or adding new components to your buffet setup, it’s time to upgrade.

Aesthetically, you will want all of your serving units and their sneeze guards to match. So when you convert your service options, you may want to start anew with a matching set. If you’ve renovated your restaurant or made changes to your menu, you may want to invest in new food guards. After all, a change in menus may require a change in heating components in a buffet. The lighting, heating, and serving portions of your buffet tables can be adapted to meet the needs of your changing operations. You’ll want to make sure that they all meet specifications for food, too.

The great news is that restaurants and other food service companies can choose from a variety of design options when it comes to sneeze guards and food guards, which often come with brackets. Most also are available in a variety of colors and offer different glass panel options as well as the option to add a design or logo. There are a lot of ways that sneeze guards and railings can be customized to your decor. Interested in learning more about your options? Please contact us today online or by phone at 267-592-3433. Ask about our 10% discount special.