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Do bulk bins every get cleaned?

Maybe someone in the industry can respond. Do bulk bins every get cleaned? Or do they just keep dumping in new stuff? I've always been hesitant to get things from these, thinking that if it was contaminated even once, the germs just stay there forever. Thank you.

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  1. i can only speak to what i've witnessed as a consumer, but i've never seen them cleaned, just refilled. i get really skeeved out by people sticking their hands directly into bins instead of using scoops or tongs, so i only buy bulk foods from the wall-mounted reservoirs that rely on gravity to dispense the goods :)

    1. I never thought about this before. That being said, if they were never cleaned, dust and debris would accumulate pretty quickly and be obvious (think home fridge veggie bin). So I think it's safe to say that if the bins appear clean and are not sticky, they must be cleaned regularly.

      1. lets assume they never get cleaned. Now, if they just keep adding to the bin, and people take fromt the top.........well, it gets cleaned one customer at a time! maybe we shouldnt have gone down this road?

        anyways, you're probably right. Those bins are probably way dirtier and contaminated as say a package of peanut butter cookies!

        1. Now that you mention it, I don't see them cleaned that much. My guess would be once or twice a year, when things were really slow. (Or the health inspector writes them up of course)

          1 Reply
          1. re: coll

            Of course you don't see them cleaned. I'm sure they pull them at a time when customers aren't trying to get at them.

          2. here is an analogy: If you have a car that uses a lot of oil, and you have to add a quart every week, do you ever really need to "change" the oil?

            1 Reply
            1. re: nkeane

              As a mechanic's kid that drove cars like that, I can honestly say "Yes!"
              You must occasionally perform oil changes to help get rid of the debris and broken down oil before it damages the engine. It also gives you the chance to check for other problems.
              Back on topic, I stick to the gravity fed dispensers, not only to reduce the chance of cross contamination, but they tend to hold less and get refreshed more often than the oil drum sizes.