The number of infected people is currently growing dramatically and across countries. At the same time, the number of deaths caused by the new pathogen is also increasing. Equally, the risk of infection is still considered high. That is why the World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared a health emergency. "We are affected by the climate of fear and concern for Meiko employees worldwide," says Meiko Managing Director Dr.-Ing. Stefan Scheringer. "With our technology and expertise we want to – and we can – try to help to put the virus in its place." The company can boast over 90 years of knowledge and expertise. Not only in terms of warewashing technology, but since the 1930s also in the field of medical products and cleaning and disinfection technology.
Hygienic safety is the top priority in pandemic cases, also in the area of warewashing technology
In pandemic cases, people often think of hospitals and medical centres, but not about the fact that the pathogens can particularly spread in public areas and thus also in restaurants and canteens: "Dishes and cutlery were and still are considered to be neuralgic points in food service", says Dr. Dr. Friedrich von Rheinbaben, hygienist and virologist. Therefore, every canteen, restaurant and facility that serves food to people must be able to wash in a hygienically safe manner.
Ensuring hygienically safe dishes and cutlery is one of Meiko's key competencies. Particularly with the coronavirus, the dishwasher manufacturer can guarantee the washware's hygiene safety and harmlessness: coronaviruses are so-called enveloped viruses. "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," continues Friedrich von Rheinbaben. "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."
For the coronavirus, increased hygiene requirements and measures are in force not only for the warewashing technology but also for the warewashing personnel. The World Health Organization (WHO) has put hand hygiene at the top of its agenda. It recommends washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap or alcohol-based products. Additional hygiene rules apply for professional warewashing personnel, 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.
Meiko China donates to Huanggang
To ensure greater hygiene safety in Huanggang, one of the cities most severely affected by the virus outbreak, Meiko China is donating two hood type dishwashing machines and three cleaning and disinfection machines. They will be delivered within the next few days. Thomas Hegenberg, Managing Director of Meiko China: "We have witnessed the wave of infection and the daily fight against the virus at close quarters. It soon became clear to us that, if we can help alleviate the situation with our technology, then of course we will!"
In previous pandemic cases, Meiko made donations in the form of technical solutions and thus actively supported the crisis regions.
Meiko as an employer
The outbreaks also affect Meiko as an employer. After all, the company has employees all over the world, around 200 of them in China alone, which was hit particularly hard. Stricter hygiene regulations with temperature measurements and face mask directives are in force there. "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," says Dr.-Ing. Stefan Scheringer. All trips and visits to crisis areas are initially cancelled until mid-February. This measure may be extended if the situation so requires. And even if Meiko production in China is suspended until the beginning of February for operational reasons, "there has not yet been any serious impairment of the supply chain," says Scheringer.