Restaurant Sneeze Guards Basics

Learn about restaurant sneeze guards basics for your food business

A restaurant sneeze guard protects buffet-style food from air-borne contaminants. Restaurants that offer buffets, portable food carts and school cafeterias all need sneeze guards. State and national health regulation laws require sneeze guards and provide proper instruction on utilization.

Plastic sneeze guards are the most common type of sneeze guard seen in restaurants. However, glass sneeze guards are another option for custom sneeze guards and regular stock sneeze guards. One advantage glass has over plastic is that it's harder to scratch, making a glass sneeze guard's professional appearance last longer. When researching sneeze guards, remember the following:

1. The height of any food guard needs to be tall enough for the average customer, who is between 5 and 6 feet tall.

2. A buffet sneeze guard should blend in with the decor of the restaurant. Frame color, shield size and installation affect the appearance of a restaurant.

3. All sneeze guards, including custom made sneezeguards, must not be movable by the customer or staff. Swinging sneeze guards cannot protect food.

Order custom made sneezeguards

If typical manufacturing of restaurant sneeze guards doesn't meet your needs, order custom made sneezeguards. A custom food shield can fit any style counter and can be made without visible screws or with sneeze guard posts that match your restaurant decor.

Buy sneeze guards from reputable suppliers

When ordering sneeze guards, use sneeze guard suppliers with a good reputation in the food business. Talk to business associates and read reviews online before making a purchase. Consider how long a company's been around, too.

Get safety information about sneeze guard restaurant equipment

There are rules and regulations governing the use and installation of sneeze guards. The thickness of the guard, height, construction and use is all regulated by local and international health departments. Before purchasing any sneeze guards, read up on the laws governing sneeze guards.
United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Check that any salad bar sneeze guard or buffet sneeze guard meets NSF standards. This helps prevent any problems with future health inspections and ensures that your sneeze guards adequately protect the food.

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