Alternative School Foodservice Solutions in the Age of COVID

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues on and the children return to school, the latest safety guidelines turn to keeping students, teachers, and staff safe while attending in-person classes. While it’s straightforward to create smaller classes and separate students, they all need to eat lunch. Staggering lunchtimes is one approach but more needs to be done. One area of concern is passing the food from the person who preps it to the student without the risk of passing germs. We have a variety of alternative school foodservice solutions to help minimize the risk.

Dairy Air Screen

Children love their milk and juice with lunch, and the passing of milk cartons is the ideal time for germs to pass from one person to another. A dairy air-screen allows the children to choose their own milk and take a carton from the provided selection. This free-standing, vertical dairy case offers plenty of room to place an entire milk crate on the bottom shelf to keep cafeteria staff from handling each carton of milk or juice. You can use the shelves to place a variety of other food items as well, such as pudding cups, packages of cheese, and fresh fruit cups.

To restock, your staff simply opens the back of the dairy case and adds new products behind the currently stocked items. These cases are designed for students to easily reach items without knocking other items over or stretching too far. At the end of the day, the cafeteria staff can restock the cooler for the next day and pull the night screen down to keep items at the right temperature overnight. Learn more about the dairy air-screen in our video here.

Hot Self-Serve

A hot self-serve case may be the answer to providing a warm meal while minimizing the contact between cafeteria workers and the school children they feed. Each unit gives you three heated shelves that you can lay flat or set up on a slight incline. When you choose the slight incline, products will slide forward as items are removed, making it easier for little hands to reach the items on the shelves.

The back of the display case opens, so that cafeteria staff can easily restock items as children continue to make their choices and without getting close to the other people. Each shelf helps the food items maintain a temperature of up to 160 degrees to meet safety and health standards. You can easily adjust all three shelves to make room for larger and smaller items.

Refrigerated Self-Serve

On days when you’re serving cold cut sandwiches, deluxe salads, and fruit cups, you need a refrigerated self-serve display to minimize contact between staff and the children and teachers. You can fill the bottom of the display with drinks, such as water, milk, and juice, and then use the two upper shelves to store and display the food items. There is plenty of room to stack sandwiches and plastic bowl packages.

The display has an electronic temperature control that makes it easy to adjust to your changing needs and even offers a defrost setting. At the end of the day, your staff can clean and restock the display before closing the energy-saving night screen. You can use the night screen between meal services to students to keep products cool and to save money on cooling costs.

When the kids return to school amid the COVID-10 pandemic, it’s going to fall to the schools to bring in the necessary equipment to safeguard the students, teachers, and staff. With a few changes and the addition of self-serve units, your cafeteria safety is covered.

By Jackie Ceithamer, Federal Industries

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