Just about every restaurant meal in Australia is accompanied by drinking water – still, sparkling, or plain tap. For diners who wish to drink table water, it’s important to maintain high tap water quality in your restaurant. Diners now expect the any table water served should be free from the taste and odour produced by chemicals, heavy metals etc – Waters Co offers an under sink filter system producing clean tasting alkaline mineral water, so that when you put out that bottle of water on the table, you can be confident it will satisfy the taste buds of your water aficionados and let them know you care about their dining experience.
Here’s how to keep diners satisfied with the quality of their drinking water.
Keep ice machines and freezers clean
A 2013 survey featured by the Daily Mail found that the ice served in six out of 10 restaurants contained higher levels of bacteria than water from the toilets. Four of those restaurants had so many microbes in their ice that they posed a hygiene risk, according to a laboratory.
That’s why it’s important for restaurant operators to make sure that all ice machines as well as freezers and containers used for storing ice undergo regular cleaning and maintenance. According to former Health Protection Agency (UK) Laboratory Director Dr. Melody Greenwood, poorly maintained ice machines can be breeding grounds for E.coli and other bacteria.
Further it is necessary to train staff and instruct them how to handle ice properly. The 2013 survey of British high street restaurants found that it was common for kitchen staff to transfer ice cubes with their bare hands, which increases the risk of contamination.
Make sure lemons and other fruit slices are clean
There’s nothing like a slice of lime, lemon, or cucumber to add some flavour to drinking water. But fruit wedges are a breeding ground for germs and can potentially contaminate restaurant water. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Health in 2020 found that 70% of complementary lemon wedges served in restaurants tested positive for microbial growth.
A 2012 ABC News exposé found that half the lemon wedges they tested in restaurants contained human waste.
Although known for having antimicrobial properties, lemons can play host to a variety of viruses, bacteria, and other microbes (including E.coli) that survive on the rind and flesh of fruit slices.
Since food safety regulations are not as strict when it comes to garnishes, staff simply wash the skin of the fruit without giving it a good scrub.
To reduce the risk of contamination and infection, train staff to wash and handle fruit garnishes properly. Instead of pre-slicing the fruit, simply offer them to diners who can squeeze out the juice and set the wedge aside. You can also skip the complementary lemon wedge altogether.
Wash glasses and pitchers thoroughly
The same ABC News exposé found that drinking glasses are some of the most germ-infested objects in a typical restaurant. Workers touch the rims with their bare hands while handling and storing glasses in the kitchen. Remind staff that the correct way of holding a drinking glass is to hold it by its stem, base, or body, make sure that they observe this in their day-to-day work. Further, see to it that all drinking glasses are washed and cleaned thoroughly between uses.
Use a water filter
Tap water can contain traces of chlorine, fluoride, lead and other contaminants that can give restaurant water an off-taste and unpleasant odour. Further if your restaurant is located near a sensitive water source, you must take extra measures to protect your drinking water from contaminated surface water and/or groundwater. To make sure that your restaurant serves clean, healthy, and odour-free tap water, use a heavy-duty plumbed in filter like the BIO MAX.
Test water quality regularly
Testing water quality on a regular basis can help ensure that your restaurant’s drinking and cooking water stays clean, safe, and healthy throughout the year. Keep in mind that environmental triggers like weather patterns, seasonal changes, and land development can change the quality of your tap water. To test water quality, you can use simple tools such as a refractometer, colorimeter, water strips, and pressure and flow gauge.
Providing clean and great-tasting water is essential to creating a memorable dining experience. Waters Co helps communities maintain the quality and safety of tap water by offering a wide range of personal jugs and bench top filters. Visit our store today to browse our collection of bench top filters for light commercial use.