What is a Countertop Sneeze Screen?

Apr 15th 2020

What is a Countertop Sneeze Screen?

Countertop sneeze screens have been used in foodservice settings for decades to protect food from bacteria and other germs that can be spread through sneezing or coughing. But more recently, they have a new use - protecting employees and customers from the spread of germs at checkout counters and other customer service settings across the country.

To aid in the fight against COVID-19, grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential businesses are installing plexiglass, polycarbonate or acrylic guards at checkout to help prevent the spread of germs during transactions. Companies like Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, and more are all adopting the use of these guards to protect their cashiers and customers.

The History of the Countertop Sneeze Screen

A countertop sneeze screen is a plastic or glass shield originally designed to protect food from contamination in foodservice settings. The first of these shields was invented and patented in the late 1950s by Johnny Garneau, a restaurateur and inventor in Clarion, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Garneau ran a chain of American-style Smorgasbord restaurants. As a germaphobe, he was troubled by the potential for people to sneeze or cough on food as they went down the Smorgasbord line, and wanted to construct something to protect the food while still allowing customers to serve themselves. Mr. Garneau designed and created the first protective glass barrier to be placed over the food line, obtained a patent, and the rest is history. To this day, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) requires food on display to be protected from contamination using packaging, display cases, or protectors like countertop screens.

Versare’s Countertop Screen

Here at Versare we share that entrepreneurial mindset, and are always striving to create useful products that will help companies provide separation when needed. We recently designed our own version of a sneeze guard - the Countertop Screen - to help prevent the spread of disease in any place of commerce that requires direct interaction between employees and customers in close proximity.

These clear polycarbonate partitions are already being used effectively in medical clinics, pharmacies, title companies, and other essential businesses that remain open during the stay-at-home protocols currently in place. And once more businesses begin to open again these screens will continue to play an essential part in protecting the health safety of employees and customers.

The Countertop Screen is ideal for:

  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery Stores
  • Banks
  • Title Companies
  • Convenience Stores
  • Hospitals / Clinics
  • Reception / Front Desk
  • Retail POS
  • Car Dealerships
  • Coffee Shops / To-Go Foodservice
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