Food Safety advice for businesses

Released: Friday, 20 March 2020

Adur & Worthing Councils' Food Safety Team has taken the responsible decision to temporarily halt all non urgent food safety activities following central government guidance in relation to social distancing and reducing social interaction, as a measure to reduce the transmission of the COVID 19 virus and protect older people and vulnerable adults:

We are still available to be contacted for advice to promote public health, support local businesses and our community. We will respond to incidents of imminent risk to public safety.

Contact details can be found at the end of this article.

Guidance to food businesses delivering takeaways to those who are self-isolating

Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak, the Communities Secretary has confirmed this:

The following advice is for those businesses that are looking to offer takeaways and deliveries where they have not done so before.

Scientific advice is that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food, but, if you are changing how the business operates, then you should ensure that you have control measures in place.

  • A business will only be in a position to provide takeaways if they are registered as a food business with Adur & Worthing Councils
  • If you are not registered as a food business, then please register on the councils' website
  • Contact the Planning Department to let them know of the change of use from restaurant to takeaway, by emailing:
  • Foods that need refrigerating may need to be packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag
  • If you are transporting hot food, this may need to be packed in an insulated box. It is recommended to keep distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have provided advice for business:

Allergens

If you are changing your business in light of the current situation, then allergens controls still need to be in place. When circumstances change at a quick pace, things often get forgotten. Allergen controls cannot be forgotten as the consequences can be tragic.

So, make sure you implement the following when taking orders for takeaway:

  • If you haven't done so already, make sure that your menus have a clear message on them asking customers to make you aware of any allergy issues when they order
  • Make sure you know what the 14 allergens are, don't guess or take any chances
  • When a customer places an order over the phone or at your counter, make sure that you ask them if there are any allergy issues that you need to be aware of. If customers are ordering online or via an app such as just eat etc, make sure that this option allows the customer to tell you about allergy issues
  • If you are allowing customers to come into the shop to order, make sure that you are displaying an allergens poster as well:
  • When preparing, cooking and packing up the allergy meal, remember that you have to prevent cross contamination with the allergen. This is crucial
  • Once the allergy meal has been made, make it clear on the box or tub that this meal is the allergens meal (you can use a waterproof marker pen for this or stickers)
  • If the allergens meal is part of an order, place the allergens meal with its marked box/tub in a separate bag or insulated box.
  • If you need extra help, the links below have loads of useful information:

Lastly, if you are still not sure how to manage allergens, then please contact us for help.

Contact-free delivery

If you are undertaking deliveries, then you should have a system in place whereby customers can notify the restaurant/delivery drivers whether they are self-isolating.

Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep everyone healthy.

Knock on the door, step back at least 1 metre and wait nearby for your customer to collect it.

Take payments over the phone or internet rather than taking a cash payment.

Infection control, hand washing and cleaning

All staff, whether they handle food or not, must be provided with clear instructions on reporting any illness and symptoms to their Manager.

The Government have issued guidance:

Hand washing and cleaning

Hand washing and cleaning are always important in food businesses, but especially at the moment to help to stop the spread of the virus.

Wash your hands frequently using the 6 stage approach to remove bacteria and viruses - on the NHS website

Remember to thoroughly wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

When cleaning, follow the two stage approach; cleaning THEN disinfecting - PDF on the FSA website

Make sure that you are using your disinfectant or sanitiser correctly, that it is diluted using the correct concentration and left on the surface long enough for it to work; follow the instructions:

Where possible use single-use cloths or paper towels and blue roll.

Remember to regularly clean pieces of equipment that you would not usually use, for example credit card readers, insulated boxes or bags for deliveries and car or van door handles.

Contact us

We are open for business during normal office hours, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Should any food businesses or a member of the community require any further guidance, they may contact the Adur & Worthing Councils' Food Safety Team at Public Health and Regulation, on:

See also:

(PR20-024)

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Page last updated: 01 March 2021