Surrey Heath Borough Council understands that some businesses may look to change their typical business type and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time.
The following advice is for those businesses that are looking to make provision for take-aways and deliveries where they have not done so before.
Current scientific advice is that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food, but, if you are changing how you are used to operating then you should think through any new hazards and ensure that you have control measures in place to eliminate the risks.
A business will only be a position do this if they are already registered as a food business with a Local Authority.
If they are registered then they do not need to inform us of the change however, you will need to review your HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) to ensure that the additional hazards (for example cross contamination and temperature control) associated with this change in operation are considered and documented where appropriate.
- So that those control points which are critical to food safety have been identified and implemented
- That measures to be taken in the event of a failure in control at those critical points are specified and management checks to verify the correct operation of procedures are made and recorded.
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 delivery’
Allergens also need to be considered, as 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) AND;
- In a written format when the food is delivered.
Additional information on allergens can be accessed through the FSA.
All foods must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures that they do not become unsafe or unfit to eat during this process.
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.
The Government have issued guidance on COVID-19 for employees and businesses.
However, this is not specific for food businesses, but it does advise that ‘if you have been asked to self-isolate, you can order by phone or online, such as through takeaway services or online shopping deliveries. However, please make sure you tell the delivery driver that the items are to be left outside, or as appropriate for your home’.
If you are undertaking deliveries, then you should have a system in place to ascertain/develop a system whereby clients can notify the restaurant/delivery drivers whether they are self-isolating so that action can be taken accordingly as highlighted above.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any further questions or concerns.