The Community Secretary has confirmed that planning rules
will be relaxed to allow food businesses to operate as takeaways during the
coronavirus, the relaxation period will be applied imminently for a limited
Chorley Council understand that businesses may look to
change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business
during this time.
A business is only in position to do this if they are
currently registered and regulated by the Local Authority.
Although scientific advice has reported that it is unlikely
that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food, it is still vital that food
business operators exercise effective hygiene controls, to ensure that food
produced is suitable for human consumption and free from contamination.
Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool while they are being
transported. This may need to be packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel
or in a cool bag.
If you are transporting hot food, it should be kept hot. 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 – ‘How
to manage a food business if you sell products online, for takeaway or for
Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep
everyone healthy, so you could consider leaving deliveries at the door of your
customer, rather than handing it over to them. Knock on the door, step back at
least 1 metre and wait nearby for your customer to collect it.
Where possible take payments over the phone or internet
rather than taking a cash payment.
We aware of some difficulties in accessing suitable soap,
detergent, disinfectants (antibacterial products) and sanitisers to enable
effective cleaning and disinfection of utensils and equipment, surfaces and
Where suitable surface disinfectants are unavailable for use
then you must ensure that you minimise the contact points of raw foods. Always
designate separate areas for raw food preparation and ready to eat food
You must continue to adequately clean any food preparation
surfaces using detergent and hot water, ensuring that you use different
disposable cloths for raw food preparation areas and ready to eat food
EQUIPMENT AND UTENSILS
If the same utensils and equipment are used for both raw
food and ready-to-eat food, at separate times, then you should continue to
follow your control procedures as per your food safety management system to
ensure that utensils and equipment are disinfected between uses, using your
dishwasher on the hottest full cycle.
Dishwashers must be cleaned and functioning correctly. If
the dishwasher is not working correctly it will not be an effective control.
When using a dishwasher, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions and
allow the washing cycle to complete fully.
Any method of heat disinfection is acceptable if the process
removes E. coli O157 from all surfaces. For example, a sterilising sink or a
steam cleaner. Adequate time and temperature combinations may need to be
considered and utensils and equipment should be visibly clean prior to any heat
If heat disinfection or a dishwasher is not available, then
equipment and utensils must not be shared. As such they should be specifically
designated for either raw food only or for ready-to-eat food only.
Regardless of the availability of hand sanitisers, all food
handlers should regularly wash their hand using warm running water, hand soap
and drying with disposable towels. Further details on how to effectively wash
hand may be found at:
If liquid hand soaps are unavailable, then you should use
alternatives such as soap bars.
Please refer to attached/included NHS handwashing poster.
Allergens also need to be considered if food is
sold at a distance (e.g. internet sales or home delivery), the allergen
information must be provided:
- before the purchase of the food is
complete (this could be in writing or verbally)
- in a written format when the food is
Allergen advice can be found: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses
You have responsibilities to ensure food handlers are
fit for work under the food hygiene regulations and in addition you have a
general duty to ensure the Health, Safety and Welfare of persons in your
employment and members of the public.
Relevant staff must be provided with clear instructions on
any infection control policy in place, and any person so affected and employed
in a food business and who is likely to come into contact with food is to
report immediately the illness or symptoms, and if possible their causes, to
the food business operator.
SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
The Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support
businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
More information on support available can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businessesabout-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses or https://chorley.gov.uk/Pages/AtoZ/Covid-19-(coronavirus)-information-.aspx