Sanitation and Hygiene

Single-use plastic foodservice packaging provides a sanitary way to serve fresh food at schools, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, cafeterias …even at home.

Sanitary foodservice packaging is a key part of helping prevent disease. Public health officials encourage the use of sanitary, single-use foodservice packaging in appropriate settings – single-use foodservice packaging can help reduce food borne illness.

Reusable dishes, drinking cups and utensils depend on washing after use, and that washing has to be consistent and thorough. Studies conducted at foodservice operations demonstrate that this is not always the case.

  • A 2012 study in Sacramento County, CA, found that nearly 30 percent of the reusable items tested had higher than acceptable bacterial counts.
  • A 2007 study in Wisconsin found that unprotected tables and trays had seven to 23 times higher bacterial counts than those with single-use place mats and tray covers.
  • A 2002 study in Las Vegas found 18 percent of the reusable items tested had higher than acceptable bacterial counts.

In addition, reusable cups, dishes, plates, utensils, place mats, table coverings and other products require copious amounts of water and energy to clean, time and time again. Plastic foodservice packaging conserves these important resources and allows our schools and hospitals to save the water, energy, detergents – and money and labor – required to sanitize reusables. And when dishwashers are down or malfunctioning, many jurisdictions actually require foodservice operators to use sanitary, single-use foodservice packaging to protect health and safety.

Simply put, good hygiene is a very good thing (especially during flu season!). From the foam cup for our grand latte to the clear clamshell that protects our sushi, clean is key. When sanitary conditions are important, all of us – parents, teachers, students, hospital patients, customers – can have peace of mind with plastic foodservice packaging. More info here.

For More Information:


We want to hear from you. Have a question? Want to learn more about recycling programs? Need more information?

>> Let us know

Stay Informed

For more information about the Plastics Foodservice Packaging Group:

Also sign up to receive important news from

>> Subscribe to updates