Meiko dishwashers are being used in the fight against coronovirus – with the manufacturer donating equipment to some of the worst-hit areas of China to prevent the spread of the disease.
The firm, which is based in Germany, has also fast-tracked the despatch of extra respirator masks for the 200 staff that it has working for it in China. Production at its Chinese factory has currently been suspended until the situation eases.
Meiko claims that tests done by hygienists have confirmed that dishes are free of the coronavirus after one wash cycle in its dishwashers.
Hygienic safety is the top priority in pandemic cases and, while people tend to think of hospitals and medical centres, the fact that pathogens can spread in public areas, including restaurants and canteens is often ignored.
Meiko has donated two hood-type dishwashing machines and three cleaning and disinfection machines to Huanggang, one of the cities most affected by the outbreak.
Meiko says it can guarantee the hygienically safe washing of dishes and cutlery, and has gained the endorsement of Dr. Friedrich von Rheinbaben, a leading hygienist and virologist.
He said: “Dishes and cutlery were and still are considered to be neuralgic points in foodservice. Therefore, every canteen, restaurant and facility that serves food to people must be able to wash in a hygienically safe manner. The pathogens do not cause any problems for a commercial Meiko dishwasher with the special agents used, the special washing mechanism and an increased water temperature.
“Meiko devices are able to process dishes and cutlery in such a way that they can be reused without hesitation, even if they have previously been used by infected or sick people.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has put hand hygiene at the top of its agenda. Additional hygiene rules apply for serving staff and kitchen porters, such as wearing special work clothes and gloves when handling dishes, cutlery, trays and other items that have been used and could therefore be contaminated.
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Scheringer, managing director of Meiko, said: “We are affected by the climate of fear and concern for Meiko employees worldwide. With our technology and expertise we want to – and we can – try to help to put the virus in its place.”
Stricter hygiene regulations with temperature measurements and face mask directives are in force in China, where factory production has been temporarily halted.
“In order to support and protect our employees there, we have shipped a large quantity of respirator masks with the highest protection class by air freight to China,” confirmed Mr Scheringer.
The manufacturer has also cancelled all trips and visits to crisis areas until mid-February at the earliest and will extend the measure if required.
Mr Scheringer insisted that although production in China had stopped, it had not yet experienced any “serious impairment” of the supply chain.