The European Vending & Coffee Service Association (EVA) has assured consumers and customers that in light of the coronavirus outbreak there is no increased risk of using vending machines for drinks and snacks.
It has also issued the following advice and guidance to consumers:
• Please sanitise your hands before touching the buttons on a vending machine
• Don’t cough or sneeze on a vending machine
• Keep a distance of at least 1 metre between consumers
• Choose a single use cup over a reusable one.
A statement from the association said: “The spread of the coronavirus is causing great uncertainty among consumers and customers, and we would like to reiterate that vending machines are a reliable and safe way to obtain food and beverages. Vending machine operators, fillers and technicians place food safety and hygiene as top priorities in their daily service, and are trained in both personal hygiene and protection against infections. During the current health crisis, operators have also put in place measures to ensure that the disinfection of machine surfaces is also carried out as regularly as possible.
“Consumers can be confident that the drink or snack purchased from the vending machine is safe. The disposable vending machine cup – which has recently been the subject of much criticism – is considered the safest and most hygienic way to consume a beverage.
“Finally, the EVA would like to confirm that as a provider of food and beverages, the vending industry is considered a supplier of ‘essential services’ during the restrictions and lockdowns seen in many European markets, and remains open 24/7 as a useful channel for convenient consumer purchases.”