(April 17, 2020) Seacrets on 49th Street is using its distillery to produce hand sanitizer for health care workers and other essential employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.
General Manager Scott Studds said the restaurant/distillery was inspired by other businesses creating hand sanitizer.
“We looked at the feasibility of it when we heard of other places doing it,” Studds said. “The owner, Leighton Moore, was very anxious to be able to do this because obviously of his affiliation with [Atlantic General Hospital and Peninsula Regional Medical Center] and ties within the city government that people were reaching out to him. We obviously knew there was a need passed even what you hear on a national level. But, it obviously hit home a little more local, too.
“When we started looking into it, we came and looked at all the regulations and the recommendations that were out there as far as making sure that we were in compliance with doing it correctly,” he continued.
The guidelines, provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) offers two different formula options. Seacrets has used the first option, which requires ingredients of at least 96 percent ethanol, 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 98 percent glycerol and sterilized water.
“By that model, you have to denature the alcohol, which basically makes it undrinkable,” Studds said. “After that is done, you put in your parts of glycerin and hydrogen peroxide and mix that in. [WHO] has a guidance of between 75 and 85 percent alcohol content that they want in the sanitizer. We put ours at 80 percent.”
Seacrets received its FDA certification and registration and began making hand sanitizer at the beginning of April.
“The first batch matured on April 5,” Studds said. “The long and short of it is you can make it and then there is a 72-hour maturity window that you need to have it set, and that basically activates the hydrogen peroxide within it.”
Studds said Seacrets is currently waiting for more raw materials (glycerol and hydrogen peroxide) to be delivered so additional sanitizer can be produced. It should arrive by the beginning of next week, he said.
Studds said the staff has been doing a great job with the supplies they have.
“It’s an amazing learning process going through all of it,” he said. “The guys at the distillery did a great job with putting everything together and getting it to the point where we can get it out there. Like I said, there is a need and people are very, very appreciative that we’re doing it.”
Seacrets has primarily sent out the product to those who need it the most, such as nurses and doctors at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, and other health care providers throughout the city and county.
The sanitizer is being both sold and donated where needed, Studds said.
“We are selling a portion and we are donating a portion,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to limit it as much as possible so we can get it to municipalities like the hospitals that need it. We’re being a little selective in getting it out there just because we have such a limited quantity.”
The cost for a gallon is $30. However, essential workers and health care facilities are given first priority due to the limited supply available.
Even though Seacrets is closed to the public, the distillery is still producing its drinkable alcoholic products and is offering carryout Fridays through Sundays from 12-8 p.m.
For more information or to order carryout, call Seacrets at 410-524-4900.