Environmental Health is aware of the difficulties that food businesses are presented with during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that this will be having on trade.
It is understood that many food businesses are now considering diversifying during this uncertain time by introducing the provision of takeaways and home delivery.
In this situation, please ensure you follow the advice listed below to ensure that you continue to operate safely and that the food you are producing remains safe.
Areas to be considered should include the following:
All changes to your Food Business operations such as deliveries will require you to review and update your food handling practices and your Food Safety Management System (Cooksafe House Rules/HACCP Documentation).
Ensure that containers are suitable for food use. Look for the food grade symbol. Store them in a hygienic manner to prevent any risk of contamination. Keeping them in their sealed packaging will help. Also, make sure that the containers can be securely sealed to prevent any spillages.
Whether you are going to be selling hot or cold food, you must ensure that there is always control of the temperature up until the food is served to the consumer.
All hot food must be delivered at 63 degrees centigrade or above. Cold food requires being maintained at 5 degrees centigrade or colder.
The use of hot boxes or insulated bags will be necessary to maintain these temperatures. Regular temperature monitoring will be required and recorded.
Vehicles require to be clean, tidy and not used for carrying pets. Personal items must be kept away from the food containers. Items associated with vehicle maintenance and repair such as antifreeze and oil must also be stored separately and away from the food.
Delivery staff must routinely wash their hands thoroughly using soap and hot water.
They will require to have access to clean welfare facilities.
They must also be suitably trained and supervised to ensure good personal hygiene, prevention of cross contamination and the maintenance of temperatures.
They must not work if suffering from an infectious disease and remain off work for the appropriate exclusion period.
Limiting contact when delivering orders will be imperative and will help keep everyone healthy.
Consider leaving deliveries at the door of your customer rather than handing it directly to them.
Take payment over the phone or via the internet. Avoid taking cash payment.
Deliveries must be restricted to local areas within the vicinity of your business and journey times should not exceed 30 minutes. Control the number of orders in each run.
You are required to provide consumers with accurate allergen information on the food you provide. This means providing the information before the purchase of the food is complete. This can be achieved by displaying the information on a website or on a menu. Alternatively, if the order is placed via the phone, it can be given by staff at that time. It must also be available at the point of delivery so consideration must be given to labelling the containers accordingly.
Any food delivered to someone who has a food allergy or intolerance must be kept separate from all other food. Use a separate bag for such items.
If you require any further advice, please contact the Environmental Health Team via email@example.com or 01259 450000.
Other sources of information such as effective hand washing techniques, food handlers in the work place and infection control can be found via the following websites: