Types: Touchless dispensers utilize sensors to offer hands-free operation, which helps prevent cross-contamination during handwashing. A variety of units for soap, sanitizer and paper towel dispensing are available. While paper towel dispensers are hung on walls, soap and sanitizer units can be installed on walls or within counters.
Capacities/Footprints: Hands-free soap and sanitizer dispensers have capacities ranging from 500 ml to 1500 ml. Depending on the unit, solution is distributed from a plastic bottle, cartridge or bag-in-box container housed inside a plastic dispenser. Solution is typically dispensed in 1-, 3- or 5-ml allotments. Paper towel dispensers are available to accommodate single sheet, multifold or roll paper towels.
Standard Features: These battery- operated units are available in different colors and various shapes and sizes. Hands-free soap dispensers are available for both foam and liquid solution. Most units feature a seethrough window that helps operators determine when a refill is necessary.
Optional Features: Some touchless soap and sanitizer dispensers offer a portion control feature that allows users to adjust the amount of solution distributed. Some units come with handwashing instructions. Certain touchless paper towel dispensers can be programmed to offer sensor operation, distributing product when a hand is waved under a sensing mechanism, or continuous hanging, which distributes paper towels automatically after each use.
New Features/Technology/Options: New technology on one unit communicates usage data to a PDA, allowing operators to monitor paper usage and control inventory. Updated technology has eliminated the potential for continuous cycling or inadvertent activation, which posed problems in the past. Newer touchless paper towel dispensers allow users to program different paper lengths. Soap dispensers with anti-clog nozzles are available and suitable for saving space.
Prime Functions: Hands-free dispensers provide a cleaner, more hygienic environment, while also decreasing waste and maintenance.
Key Kitchen Applications: Touchless dispensers are used by employees in kitchens and bathrooms to wash their hands in an effort to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination and foodborne illness.They are also suitable for use in customer bathrooms to control the amount of cleaning solution or paper towels consumed by each visitor.
Purchasing Guidelines: Operators should ensure the unit's volume is adequate for the number of employees or customers that will use it. For soap and sanitizer dispensers, space will dictate whether wall or counter installation is appropriate.
Maintenance Requirements: These systems are low-maintenance and can be cleaned by wiping with a soft, damp cloth. Batteries should be changed as needed to ensure continuous operation.
Food Safety & Sanitation Essentials: The Food and Drug Administration's Food Code contains the federal recommendations for preventing foodborne illness in restaurants and institutions. This code contains specific handhygiene guidance for foodservice workers, describing when, where and how to wash and sanitize hands. The National Restaurant Association recommends that employees wash their hands after any potential contamination, including food handling; using the washroom; touching hair or clothing; sneezing or coughing; eating, drinking or smoking; taking out the trash; or busing tables. Effective handwashing takes 20 seconds.