Soon the restrictions will be lifted and we will all venture back out into the world. When I do, I personally expect that every establishment I enter knows how to clean in the age of COVID-19 and is committed to keeping me and their other customers safe.
But just how do we know that a store that looks clean actually is? Let’s take our own store as an example.
Our family owns and operates Darianna Bridal & Tuxedo and prior to the mandatory shutdown, we spent more time in the store than our own home. Since opening in 2013 we have always had store cleanliness as one of our top 3 priorities. We have used the same cleaning company for years: Bugajewski Facility Services.
We were introduced to this company when the owner, Ben Bugajewski, was the featured speaker at a Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce meeting. I didn’t think I would enjoy listening to a speech about cleaning, but when Ben started talking I was weirdly fascinated.
Ben and his company clean a number of medical facilities in the area and beyond, including both Pavillions at Doylestown Hospital. They have done this for years, and have always had a focus on exactly what “clean” means. If they didn’t keep medical facilities clean, then they weren’t safe.
I perked up a little bit after hearing this introduction. It only got better from there.
His knowledge of bacteria and germicides was incredible. He knew what bad guys made us sick and what chemicals killed them. He knew which chemicals were safe for humans and which chemicals required humans to stay away for a few hours.
Ben so easily pronounced names of bacteria, most of which had way too many letters, and I knew he was going to clean our store.
We could not be more proud to have Ben and his company continuing to not only clean our store, but also training us and giving us the products we need to make sure that you and your family are just as safe as we are when you enter our doors. There are products we use once daily and others we use throughout the day.
To that end, Ben sent us the certification he earned this month taking an online training course administered by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council regarding proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques with an emphasis on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19. I can’t be sure of other stores, but we are prepared and ready to reopen!
How has Ben’s cleaning procedures changed with the onset of COVID-19?
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, the EPA released a listing of Products with Emerging Viral Pathogens AND Human Coronavirus claims for use against SARS-CoV-2 . “We began to use 2 additional RTU germicidal detergents with a 2 minute contact time against the virus compared to a 10 minute contact period. Due to the significant time period for delivery of these products we have sourced them directly from the two different manufacturers to maintain adequate inventory levels.”
In addition, he says, “We also are doing more frequent cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces, have used color coded micro fiber cleaning cloths for years, and have spent significant funds in the latest available cleaning equipment to assist our staff in removing soil prior to the disinfection process.
Since I started the company in 2004 we have always used two EPA registered quaternary hospital grade germicidal detergents for disinfection. One was an acidic based product and the other was an alkaline based product.
We used another EPA registered product which is based on free available chlorine Hypochlorous acid which is 4x more disinfection power that the hypochlorite ion. It is more active in the presence of organic loads and has a longer shelf life. It also has a label claim against c difficile spores which are extremely difficult to eliminate in a health care setting.
We are also doing additional education with our client base making sure that they are using compatible cleaning chemistries during the day for their internal cleaning.”
Now that you know our store is cleaned like a hospital, be confident we are ready for you!
Let’s get back to how do you know if a store is actually clean?
Ben published an article in 2005 in Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association that ranked store cleanliness as the most important attribute that a consumer was seeking. “A consumer in a retail clothing location focuses on the cleanliness of the front entrance, fitting room areas, cash check out areas and the store restrooms. There should be no visible soil in these areas of the store,” Ben wrote.
I then asked him how can someone feel confident that an establishment is clean? What does he look for when entering a store or restaurant? Of course, the all areas of the store need to look and smell clean, but beyond that he also looks for the following:
Are the employees wearing clean uniforms or clothing?
Are the employees taking any special precautions between clients/customers?
Are there adequate hand washing facilities available? (Hopefully they are not topping off their hand soap dispensers!)
Ben also intends on reviewing more frequently local health department inspection reports. GOOD idea!
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. It was fantastic for me to write this as I have a renewed appreciation and confidence in Bugajewski Facility Services, and the cleanliness of our store!
We can’t wait to welcome you back – make your appointment here!