The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) urged the public to use reusable dining utensils following a spike in the use of disposable utensils amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reusable utensils are more hygienic than disposable ones after they are properly cleaned,” Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said on Thursday.
The use of disposable utensils has increased about 50 percent, as restaurants provide more disposable tableware amid diners’ concerns over hygiene, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Deputy Minister Shen Chih-hsiu (沈志修) said.
The use of disposable utensils rose from a monthly average of 6,720 tonnes last year to 10,700 tonnes during the disease-prevention period, EPA Department of Waste Management Director-General Lai Ying-ying (賴瑩瑩) said.
Customers should not worry about using reusable utensils, while restaurant owners should comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines on proper cleaning methods for tableware, and disinfect their surroundings on a regular basis, Shen said.
Proper handwashing with soap can effectively remove pathogens on hands, as well as other objects, CECC advisory specialist panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said, adding that washing hands before eating is important.
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