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COVID : New + Existing Food Delivery and Takeaway Services

The following guidance is for those businesses that are looking to make provision for the takeaway and delivery of food, where they have not done so before.  It also provides advice to existing take away businesses of how to continue to safely provide a service to their customers. The following information also supplements the ‘Information for food businesses on Coronavirus’. Please ensure you read both.

Preparation and delivery of food

All foods must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures that they do not become unsafe or unfit to eat.

Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool while they are being transported. They may need to be packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag. Food should arrive with the customer at 8 Celsius or below.

If you are transporting hot food, it should be kept hot.  It may need to be packed in an insulated box.  It is recommended to keep distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes, packing cold and hot food separately. Hot food should arrive with the customer at 63 Celsius or above.

It is strongly suggested that the insulated box is made of a wipeable material i.e. plastic or similar, rather than cloth/fabric based as this will not be easy to sanitise on a regular basis. The insulated box should be sanitised (both internally and externally) at the start of the day before being used for carrying food and after deliveries, and also regularly throughout the day.

Contact free delivery

Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep everyone healthy, so consider leaving deliveries at the door of your customer, rather than handing it over to them.  Knock on the doorstep back at least 2 metres as per Public Health guidance and wait for your customer to collect it. This is especially important where a customer is either in self-isolation or ill.

You must ensure you have a system in place to enable the customer to notify you of any self-isolation/illness in advance of delivering. Drivers should not enter the customers’ property in any circumstance.

Managing allergen controls

Allergy information in Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) should be followed and a decision made whether any particular allergy requirement can be catered for or not.

Delivery vehicles and staff

The delivery driver should be given a basic induction on handling the food correctly and health monitoring should be in place. Staff must be checked daily to ensure they aren’t showing any relevant Coronavirus symptoms (fever, persistent cough etc). If they start to show symptoms, they should be immediately sent home as per the self-isolation guidance.

The driver, where possible, should avoid coming into the main kitchen area and avoid excessive kitchen staff contact. It is suggested that one of the kitchen staff ‘box up’ the food and place in a low risk area ready for the driver to pick up and deliver. The driver should wash their hands with soap and water both on arrival and returning to the premises.

Take-away collection

Please ensure the following controls are put in place at your business:

  • no orders should be taken in person on the premises – this should be communicated to customers by appropriate means such as signage
  • businesses should therefore only take orders online or by telephone
  • customers could have staggered collection times – customers should be discouraged from entering the premises until their order is ready
  • customers arriving without having already placed an order should be encouraged to leave the premises to place their order by telephone or online, and to return at a designated time for collection
  • customers whose orders are ready should enter one at a time to collect orders and make payments
  • businesses should discourage crowding outside the premises. Where possible, use queue management systems to maintain the 2 metres separation

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