A sneeze guard is a barrier that is commonly found on food service equipment. Think of the plastic window that you look through on a common salad bar. Thats a sneeze guard.

The purpose of a sneeze guard is to interrupt the direct line between the consumer and the food. This protection is used to protect the food from (say it with me now) the contaminants found in and on the human body. Basically, if you sneeze in the line for your leafy greens, the projectile components of your sneeze, namely water droplets, mucus, suspended air pollution and all sorts of microscopic biological organisms, stay out of the food. A sneeze can go as fast as 85% of the speed of sound or approximately 630 miles per hour, creating a droplet cloud roughly 3 feet wide. Health regulations in most areas require that some type of barrier exist to protect food from "bodily ejections". These regulations often go as far as to detail the placement of the sneeze guard appropriate to the serving situation. For example, if elementary students will be served, sneeze guard placement would be relative to their height.