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Food hygiene challenges in replacing single use food service ware with reusable food service items

This report reviews the risks of increased foodborne disease associated with the move to wider use of reusable food service ware and systems, in the absence of very necessary significant changes in consumer understanding and hygienic practices. These risks are inherent in the additional, more complex, multilocation cleaning, sanitation, storage and transport of reusable food service ware within the human food chain. In essence, this is because there are greater risks of cross contamination within “circular” reuse systems, than in the current “linear” single use systems. The inherent complexity of “circular” reuse systems may also make it more difficult to track and suppress outbreaks of food borne illness and/or carry out related food product recalls.