The LED signage designed to ‘stop the spread’ in Australian shops, bars and restaurants
Some of the world’s leading scientists have warned future pandemics are likely to be more frequent, spread more rapidly, kill more people and further damage the economy over recent years if no proactive action is taken.
The tragedy of MERS, SARS and now COVID-19 have highlighted the importance of implementing hygiene where possible, with organisations all over the world looking for sustainable and practical ways to fight potentially harmful bacteria.
In response to COVID-19, one entrepreneur decided it was time to look to new ways to keep venues across the country clean. It was this catalyst that sparked Michael Toweel, CEO of VitrineMedia, to introduce some of the world’s most hygienic signage to Australia.
Now, Mr Toweel is calling on the Australian government to mandate Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) approved signage, in hopes of protecting patrons against current and future threats of infectious bacteria.
Nawal Droubi, owner of Sydney-based pizza restaurant, On The Dough, saw the pandemic as a prime time to up the restaurant’s marketing game through signage, and choosing the safest, most hygienic option was her top priority.
“We needed a better looking menu to compete with nearby food outlets. There was hardly anyone walking by during COVID so attracting all the foot traffic we could became essential,” recalls Nawal Droubi.
“Our store has never looked better and, with our menu boards positioned directly above our food preparation area, knowing they are antibacterial helps us sleep at night.
We couldn’t be more pleased with the signs. They are literally pulling in customers off the street!”
Rohit Rishi, owner of Gloria Jean’s in Williamstown, Melbourne, can also attest to the seemingly magnetic power of the signs, saying the “salted caramel beverage we have displayed on one of Vitrine’s signs has become our best selling product since having the displays installed.
“It used to take around three months to go through two litres of salted caramel sauce – we’re now going through the same amount in less than a fortnight!
“But we didn’t just want marketing. After everything 2020 has inflicted on the world, we wanted shopfitting that was not only good looking but also safe and hygienic.”
The illuminated signs designed by VitrineMedia in France are HACCP approved, which considers physical, chemical and biological risks in food manufacturing and preparation environments. The testing is four-fold.
Firstly, the “hazard” involves identifying any risks in the process, including contamination exposure. Secondly, the “analysis” determines just how severe the risk might be and how likely it is to occur.
Thirdly, the “critical” component finds the precise moment in the process when risks are likely to present themselves and, finally, the “control” element and “point” identifies preventative measures that can be used to manage hazards, while the latter highlights specific areas of required control and monitoring activities.
Check, check, check and check. VitrineMedia meets every single requirement of the HACCP guidelines which, says Mr Toweel, is a massive game changer for the organisation.
“Being HACCP certified gives VitrineMedia’s signage a number of significant advantages over competing products, in particular our menu boards which are often the closest to food preparation,” said Mr Toweel.
“Our light boxes are sealed behind a transparent screen which creates the most effective barrier against bacteria.
“An added bonus is the fact they are so hardy they won’t fade or discolour when cleaned even with powerful antiseptic cleaning solutions.”
Mr Toweel is calling on the government to hold restaurants accountable for not having HACCP approved signs, saying the industry, especially during a global pandemic, needs to consider all risks of spread.
“Business owners are clearly seeing the need to promote health and safety at every level of operation,” said Mr Toweel.
“It’s our mission to clean up the hospitality industry. Figuratively and literally.”
Over 6,500 businesses across Australia have VitrineMedia signage installed, across every capital city and most major regional areas, with sights set on New Caledonia and Fiji next.
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