Updated FSA Guidance - Reopening and adapting your food business during COVID-19 (21.5.20)
Guidance on hygiene and food safety requirements for food businesses to reopen and operate safely during COVID-19. This guidance is for food businesses looking to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sector guidance has been provided to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely in the food sector. This should be read in conjunction with sector guidance for ‘Social distancing in the workplace’. The guidance is here.
Operating workplaces safely - updated government guidance (11.5.20)
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published new guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The information in these guides also covers those activities that maybe undertaken by Private Sector landlords, Registered Providers and Letting agents. Reference should be made to the Other people’s homes guide and Construction and other outdoor work guide, for those operating in this area in order to establish safe systems of work and protect occupiers.
The steps for businesses to take are focused on 5 key points, which should be implemented as soon as it is practical:
· Work from home, if you can.
· Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions.
· Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible.
· Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk.
· Reinforcing cleaning processes.
These steps are accompanied by guidance on specific types of workplace and apply to businesses which are currently open. Guidance for other sectors that are not currently open will be developed and published ahead of those establishments opening to give those businesses time to plan.
The accompanying guidance covers eight different types of workplace, and many businesses may need to use more than one of these guides:
· Construction and other outdoor work.
· Factories, plants and warehouses.
· Labs and research facilities.
· Offices and contact centres.
· Other people’s homes.
· Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery.
· Shops and branches.
We all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The government has given clear guidance on self-isolation and staying at home.
Additional measures are now in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus and save lives. Some businesses must close. Takeaway and delivery services may remain open. Online retail is still open and encouraged and postal and delivery service will run as normal.
Please note these measures are for public safety and can be enforced.
Businesses planning to reopen are being warned by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health that hot and cold water systems left inactive for several weeks can increase the risk of Legionnaire’s disease. It has urged businesses to carry out safety checks before reopening. CIEH has published a six-page document, Legionnaires’ disease: lockdown risks and reopening safely, which can be downloaded here. Additional guidance is shown below as a downloadable document.
Advice for takeaways
Following the publication of updated government guidance, and in partnership with Cumbria Police, we’re reminding local takeaway providers to follow social distancing rules.
Following reports of some food business delivery drivers not following government guidelines, we are reminding businesses that provide a takeaway service to:
- Put in place a drop-off system where the order is placed at the customer’s door and contact is made via the bell or phone whilst the driver or rider moves back from the order to allow for a two-metre social space. Food should not be left unattended.
- Ensure payment for takeaway delivery is made at the time of the telephone order, removing the need for payment on delivery.
- Ensure drivers and or riders hand wash or sanitise before and after collection as they could cross contaminate between the restaurant and the customer.
- Provide the driver with alcohol hand sanitiser with an alcohol content of at least 60+%.
As set out in updated government guidance, Social distancing also needs to be followed in takeaway premises:
- Shops should ensure that no orders are taken in person on the premises.
- Shops should only take orders online or by telephone and communicate this to customers by clear signage in store and online.
- Where customers are collecting items, they should have staggered collection times and adopt a one-in-one-out policy.
- Where queuing is taking place, a queue management system should be in place to maintain a safe distance, ensuring the two-metre distancing requirement is applied.
- No goods or food should be physically handed over to the customer.
Cumbria Police is also reminding takeaway businesses that all takeaway drivers need to have business car insurance.
A quick guide to safe shopping during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
No reported cases of COVID-19 have been linked to contaminated food. The main risk to shoppers is coming into contact with an infected person. You are urged to wash your hands frequently, maintain good hygiene practices and minimise contact with people outside of your household. A guide has been developed that will help you to stay safe and protect others when shopping for essentials. Please note that this guide is based upon current advice at the time of publication (31 March 2020).
For specific guidance on infection control in relation to Coronavirus (COVI-19) see:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on GOV.UK for guidance for health professionals and other organisations.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the NHS website for an overview.