The Blind Horse Restaurant & Winery, 6018 Superior Ave., Kohler, is the first restaurant in the United States to install Far-UVC 222 light technology to provide real-time mitigation of harmful pathogens and viruses.
State-of-the-art sanitization solutions, developed by Melbourne, Fla. based Healthe, Inc., will be installed at key location s throughout the restaurant in mid-October. Far-UVC 222 light technology provides an additional layer of critical protection for staff and guests—along with the other safety initiatives already in place throughout the property.
“Of utmost importance to us is that we provide a safe environment so our guests and employees have the opportunity to feel a sense of normalcy and well being that has been shaken by COVID-19,” said Thomas Nye, General Manager and Master Winemaker, The Blind Horse. “Real time mitigation of the virus has been our goal since this crisis began. The suite of safety protocols and technology that we are installing is extensive and unprecedented in our industry. Our customers have come to expect The Blind Horse to be a leader, and we are proud to be at the forefront in utilizing this technology in the restaurant and winery industry.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, Nye has spent countless hours researching innovative sanitization solutions. This led him to Healthe’s product portfolio, which is the most recent addition to The Blind Horse’s curated suite of sanitation solutions and cleaning programs. Healthe’s innovative sanitization solutions utilize UVA, UVC and Far-UVC 222 light to sanitize indoor environments by deactivating airborne and surface contaminants. Significantly, Healthe’s solutions can be safely operated in occupied spaces.
“I’m excited to see new technology being installed at The Blind Horse that can be a potential shining light to an industry that is suffering right now. It’s impressive that The Blind Horse has invested in such ground breaking technology in Sheboygan County to help keep our citizens safe,” said Dave Roettger, Health Inspector, Sheboygan County.
The Blind Horse will install Healthe Spac, formerly known as Cleanse Downlight, throughout the dining and bar areas of the restaurant and adjacent Granary building. Space is a ceiling-mounted light that produces a combination of general illumination and Far-UVC 222 sanitizing light to clean air and surfaces. Space replaces traditional downlight cans and can be easily retrofitted into existing standard 6” housings. The Blind Horse is installing 18 Healthe Space lights throughout the property.
“We are excited to deploy this technology and to obtain the added peace of mind it will provide. The installation comes at an especially critical time for restaurants in the Midwest and throughout the country as outdoor dining ceases to be a viable option and diners head indoors,” said Nye.
A growing library of evidence and peer-reviewed papers demonstrate that Far-UVC 222 is as effective or more effective than conventional UVC light at inactivating pathogens including viruses and bacteria. The most recent and compelling study, published in June of this year by researchers at Columbia University, is a powerful testament to the technology’s safety and efficacy, including against coronaviruses. As one of the world’s leading UVC researchers noted, Far-UVC 222 nm light “can be safely used in occupied public spaces … [and] it kills pathogens in the air before we can breathe them in.”
The Blind Horse has experienced minimal impact on overall business due to its strides in safety. In fact, throughout the pandemic, business at The Blind Horse has been unaffected and at times has seen an increase.
“The Blind Horse is exhausting all procedures, products and processes to create a safer hospitality experience and to lessen the impact of our current climate,” said Nye. “Everyone is seeking a positive way forward to inspire our struggling industry. The cost, especially for a small business, is daunting. Our customers and staff appreciate all the time, money and effort to create a safer environment.”
In addition to the recent installation of Healthe products, the business has added and implemented the following activations that exceed CDC guidelines:
• Additional real-time mitigation support on property with the installation of two BigAssFans Clean Air System (www.bigassfans.com).
• Shock & Shield Protection Program by Green Up Solutions (www.greenupsolutions.org) of Milwaukee, Wis., incorporating ultraviolet light treatment and antimicrobial protection 90-day treatment plan (third application set for November).
• Nightly ozone treatment of all indoor spaces.
• Operating indoor air filters.
• Increased outdoor seating capacity on the property’s expansive outdoor landscape and adding pop-up tents (available by reservation).
• Servers will be wearing copper woven masks providing another layer of antimicrobial protection for customers and employees.
• Staff are participating in ServSafe’s COVID-19 training.
“The Blind Horse is flourishing largely in part to their innovative, enhanced safety measures,” said Bob Moeller, owner of The Blind Horse Restaurant & Winery. “All of these precautions have helped tremendously in combating pandemic-related blows that have desperately hurt the restaurant, winery and hospitality industries.”