Tucson Teen Launches COVID Clean to Promote Food Safety

Drew Messing is on a mission. As his family’s “designated” take out driver during quarantine, the Gregory School student was surprised by the wide discrepancies of safety practices he discovered while picking up food orders from a variety of Tucson eateries. Suspecting that a guaranteed standardization of safety practices might inspire greater support from the community, he created COVID Clean.

The non-profit organization’s goal is to drive revenue to Tucson’s restaurants by instilling confidence in the public that meals are being prepared in a clean and safe manner. Food providers are asked to pledge to the community that their food is prepared and served in accordance with the recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID Clean is a free service but accepts gift cards from restaurants. These gift cards are donated to unemployed restaurant workers.

With the completion of his junior year exams last week, Drew is now using his time to asking restaurants to “take the pledge,” the next phase of development for COVID Clean.

To date, over 40 restaurants and food trucks have signed up including DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails, Villa Peru, Bella’s Gelato, Posto Sano, Jimmy John’s, Bugaloo’s Soft Serve, Substance Diner, Tavolino Ristorante Italiano, Prep and Pasty, Commoner & Co., August Rhodes Market, The Gold Room at Westward Look, Vivacé, The Curry Pot, Renee’s Organic Oven, Purple Tree Acai, Jackie’s Food Court, Jonathan’s Cork, DC Jumbie, Drew’s Dogs, Aravaipa Farms, Boca Tacos, Vero Amore, The Still, Noble Hops, and Contigo.

The complete list is available along with additional information at covidcleanaz.com . “This is a movement to reassure the public that the places they love are all doing the right thing – in this time of such uncertainty, we all need to feel safe while we continue to support the businesses that have supported us for years,” said Drew.

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