Petrol giant Caltex has joined McDonald’s in suspending the use of reusable coffee cups in stores nationwide to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Caltex told News Corp on Wednesday the ban, which would occur in its internal cafe franchise, The Foodary, was a temporary decision amid the imminent pandemic outbreak.
As of 4pm Wednesday, the coronavirus has infected 119,086 people globally and killed 4284 since first being reported in Wuhan in December.
A Caltex spokeswoman said: “We will continue to monitor and review as necessary.”
McDonald’s told News Corp on Monday “we have made the decision to suspend the use of reusable coffee cups at restaurants across the country at this time”.
The move follows Starbucks in the US, Canada and the UK banning ceramic mugs and reusable personal cups temporarily as a precautionary measure against the deadly coronavirus.
A cafe in Sydney, Bonnie Coffee, has also temporarily banned customer-owned cups and said in a statement it had introduced a disinfection station for customers and staff to use.
“For the coming weeks we will suspend the use of customer-owned reusable cups to prevent foreign objects from being introduced to the beverage preparation space,” the statement read.
However, Starbucks in Australia told News Corp it was not following the latest company trend, with current and thorough hygiene practices among staff in place.
This means customers will still receive a $0.50 discount when they bring their reusable mug, tumbler or cold cup in Starbucks stores across the country.
A spokesman said: “We are closely monitoring the situation. Customers can still use reusable cups at this time.”
Coffee lovers can still use their cups – and receive a discount – at Gloria Jeans and Michel’s Patisserie stores too, with staff telling News Corp “you can still use them – you just need to make sure they are clean.”
“People can get sick if they are not clean … so you can bring them in and use them if they are clean, and you get a $0.50 discount,” a Gloria Jeans worker said.
A Michel’s Patisserie worker echoed the requirement but with a $0.30 discount instead.
News Corp was advised The Coffee Club was also taking extra precautionary measures to ensure its staff and customers were safe from the spread of the coronavirus.
While it was not banning the use of reusable cups, a spokeswoman said “in the context of the coronavirus, and in the interests of the health and safety, The Coffee Club has, where necessary, adjusted food and beverage safety and cleanliness procedures.”
“The wellbeing of customers and staff is always our number one priority,” she said.
“We will continue to review our policies and procedures both instore and at a corporate level as the situation emerges.”
News Corp is still waiting for a response from coffee giant Hudsons.
Restaurants Muffin Break and Jamaica Blue, owned by Foodco Group Pty Ltd, refused to comment.
Extracted from Tweed Daily News