Bars and restaurants can add a touch of sustainable style to their beverage presentation by serving drinks with reusable stainless steel straws. They become part of the permanent tableware collection, along with stainless steel forks, knives and spoons. Here are tips for bars and restaurants on how to wash & reuse stainless steel drinking straws.
If you’re a commercial establishment, plan to follow the same cleaning and sanitizing protocols that you would for your existing utensils, cups or barware. Most health code protocols require cleaning and sanitizing all type soft foodware and drinkware. We recommend you designate a small soaking tub filled with hot soapy water to clean the straws, and a separate tub to soak the clean straws in sanitizing solution. Be sure to have a straw cleaning brush, and a utensil rack can be used to air dry cleaned straws.
SOAKING & CLEANING: When server clears a finished drink, they should collect the straw, and place it in a tub of hot soapy water to soak. If the straw was used for a drink that might have pulp or other beverage reside, then it should be scrubbed with a cleaner brush to remove any such debris. Rinse the straws thoroughly in clean, hot water, to remove all soap.
Step Two (Optional)
DISHWASHER: If you have a dishwasher, after soaking in soapy water, you save time by simply placing the straws inside a bulk utensil rack. Once loaded, run the dishwasher as normal, and remove the leaned straws when cycle is completed.
SANITIZING: Soak straws for at least one minute in tube filled with an approved restaurant sanitizing cleaning formula. This step is recommended for commercial establishments cleaning any type of reusable utensil — including spoons, forks and knifes — to assure that any germs are destroyed.
Storing clean straws in a bar or restaurant
Pick a consistent location to store your cleaned reusable steel straws. If you operate a restaurant or bar, it’s best to store your reusable steel straws in a container made of metal, glass, ceramic or plastic, widely available at any restaurant supply store. Best alternative would be a stable bulk straw container that holds straws vertically. You can also store straws in any stable wide container, such as a pint glass or coffee mug. The container should be at least a few inches shorter than the straws to make them easier for server to grab as needed.