Restaurateurs are always on the alert for red flags that could sink their ratings and bottom lines. But sometimes, the simplest mistake – like not having a place to store used needles – can result in an unfortunate headline. Use these three restaurant sharps disposal tools to help avoid a (bio)hazardous review from a customer, employee or OSHA inspector:
1. Hang Sharps Containers in Restaurant Restrooms
About 14% of Americans today either have a food allergy or diabetes. Many carry an EPI pen, or insulin injection needle, with them at all times in case of an emergency. If someone asked where your sharps disposal container is, could you direct them to one on your premise? Or, could you explain why you don’t have one?
Providing a sharps box means your customers and employees can avoid placing their sharps in the restaurant’s restroom trash, where a staff member can get poked while taking out the bag.
MERI’s sharps disposal system comes with a rigid sharps box to hang in your restroom. It also includes a handy mailback container. When your biohazard insert is full, exchange it with a new insert inside the mailback kit. Then, mail the full insert back to us in the postage paid box.
Just follow the instructions, including signing the manifest, before sending it back via the local US Postal mail carrier. At $79 for the whole system, it’s a bargain compared to a multi-million lawsuit that may be brought forth by an employee or customer if accidentally poked by a needle placed in the trash bin or parking lot. It may also prevent you from a Sharps lawsuit.
2. Use a Mailback Kit to Easily Dispose Full Sharps Containers
It’s never okay to reuse a sharps container located inside a sharps box. The box is filled with needles and bloodborne pathogens, which could spread infection if not properly disposed after use.
A mailback kit makes it easy to switch out the full container with a fresh one. It even comes with a prepaid USPS return shipping label addressed to MERI’s licensed treatment center. Simply follow the instructions to package up the old biohazard mailback container, and drop it off at your local U.S. Post Office or give to your postal carrier. This video outlines how easy MERI’s mailback kits are to use.
3. Have a Blood Spill Clean Up and Disposal Kit
Accidents happen. It’s not only important to properly clean up, but also to dispose of infectious waste. MERI’s blood spill clean-up and disposal kit disinfects, documents and disposes after a spill involving blood, vomit, urine or feces.
Place the blood spill kit near your first aid kit. Then it will be easy to grab when cleaning up and collecting the infectious material. The rigid container can also hold glass shards that would otherwise pierce through a typical plastic garbage bag. Read and follow the instructions that come with the kit to ensure you stay safe when cleaning up.Before sending, sign the enclosed manifest. It documents you are properly disposing infectious waste. Then, mail the infectious waste in the postage paid box back to MERI’s treatment center.
Responsible Restaurant Sharps Disposal Tools
Being a responsible restaurateur or business owner means implementing OSHA guidelines to avoid biohazardous accidents. Have a sharps container in your restaurant’s restrooms, as well as blood spill clean-up and disposal kits near your first aid kit. They’ll make it easy for your employees or guests to dispose their sharps or other infectious waste – and even easier for you to take care of it after.