The British Toilet Association has estimated that 40% of public toilets have disappeared in the U.K during the past decade.
With this in mind, more and more people turn to Cafes, Bars, Supermarkets, and Restaurants for their toilet needs. This often requires a purchase in order to use the facilities, a price many of us are prepared to pay in order to have access to a loo. As a result the cleanliness of these facilities has declined and as such, putting the health of users at significant risk.
Many establishments expect serving staff to clean the toilets during a shift and do not provide adequate disinfectants or protective clothing. Often the same cloths and mops are used in toilets and open food areas. Human waste and bodily fluids are left uncleaned from toilet areas and handwashing facilities are often poor too.
Cleaning is an under rated skill. Often the storagen of cleaning chemicals, equipment and the training of cleaning staff or employment of outsourced cleaning companies are considered low priorty to buinesses.
There is also an increasing number of specialist user groups, whose lives are adversely affected by the poor state of toilets across the country. These include people with mental or physical disabilities and their carers; older persons and many focus groups; families with babies or young children, schoolchildren and residents and visitors of all ages who are coping with a range of medical conditions. This is a basic human function and we need to have a greater level of adequate provision for everyone and anyone who has a sudden urge to find relief when they are away from their normal residence. It's a problem faced by thousands of people every day, truck/lorry and van drivers, car drivers and that includes taxi & private hire, coach drivers and passengers, emergency services and transient workers.
Failure to get to or use a toilet when we need to can lead to embarrassing medical and social problems.
This year (2018) the Chancellor also announced that business owners will no longer pay business rates on public toilets, a welcome review which has also financially benefited these outlets.
We believe that a big corporation like Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Nandos, Cafe Nero, Coffee#1, Asda, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Mcdonalds, JD Wetherspoons and more, have a corporate responsibility to show their staff and customers that their health and hygiene matters to them whilst their spending money or working there.
By implementing a new company policy and taking on board, and displaying a sign that the company abides by the British Toilet Associations summary of best practice
BTA BEST PRACTICE
They also will agree to train all cleaning staff in COSHH principles of good practice. Staff will be trained if expected to clean toilets to the highest standards possible, be made aware of the risks to thier health if they come into contact with bodily fluids without protection. Includes keeping hourly checklists up to date and in order and companies will no longer expect food handling staff to clean these areas as part of their job description.
Ideally, it should become law that any food outlet that allows food to be consumed on the premises provide clean regularly inspected and rated toilet facilities and that they proudly adhere to the higher standards and display their policies for customers to see.
We want more frequent inspections to be done by local council environmental officials on coffee shops, as currently they are considered "lower risk" to restaurants and therefore they have less frequent inspections.
We want regular unannounced "spot checks" to be implemented by the head office of these outlets. Implement stricter penalties for businesses that repeatedly fail spot checks on their toilets.
We would like to introduce a star rating specifically for toilets similar to the food hygeine rating currently in place.
All these standards ideally will become enforceable by local authorities in the U.K, Ireland and Northern Ireland.