Ceredigion County Council understand that many food businesses are considering how they can support the local community during the Coronavirus crisis by means of providing a takeaway or delivery service where this was not previously offered.
The following advice is intended as additional guidance for those businesses providing takeaways and delivering meals into the community. It should be used in conjunction with, and to supplement the business’s own food policy such as Safer Food Better Business or equivalent and the Public Health Wales guidance on Coronavirus.
Current scientific advice is that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food, however, if you are changing how you usually operate then you should think through the hazards and ensure that you have control measures in place.
If you are not already registered with the Council as a food business, you should register with the Authority using the Food Standards Agency portal register.food.gov.uk/new/ceredigion
If you are already registered with Ceredigion County Council and hold a food hygiene rating, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org confirming that you will be offering such a service and your premises record will be updated to reflect that you now offer a food takeaway or home delivery service.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have provided advice for business considering providing takeaway options www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/distance-selling-mail-order-and- delivery
Planning your New Services:
- Investigate using cashless payment to avoid handling cash at the site of delivery. BACS, online transactions and card payments over the phone is suggested to give greater efficiency and to protect both customers and delivery staff from passing any infection.
- Any advertising or menus should include an allergen prompt to encourage anyone with an allergy or dietary requirement to enquire about this in advance. The 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.
- The Safer Food Better Business pack should be reviewed to reflect the delivery service and how it will be offered safely. It is advised that food is offered cooked and ready to consume immediately.
- Determine if you are also going to cook, cool and send food out cold for consumption at a later time. If so, your safe method for cooling foods in your Safer Food Better Business pack or equivalent Food Safety Management System must be followed and the advice to the customer should be to fully re-heat, where appropriate to 75˚C or until piping hot and to consume the same day.
- Remember that takeaways in Wales have been required to include a bilingual statement on leaflets or flyers such as takeaway menus telling consumers where they may find details of the food hygiene rating on the website of the Food Standards Agency. See the Food Hygiene Ratings page on the Food Standards Agency website.
Cooking and Packing
- Monitor and record the final cooking temperatures of high risk foods in line with your documented Food Safety Management System.
- Don’t cook food too far in advance of service and ensure foods are held hot until sent out for delivery at 63˚C or above.
- Package the food in a disposable, lidded container. This should not be returned by the customer for re-use.
- Provide an adequate number of insulated boxes for delivery to ensure the food arrives to the customer at 63˚C or above. Consider the distance and number of deliveries to ensure the delivery round is complete within 30 minutes.
- All food handling staff need to be checked before starting their shift to ensure they aren’t showing any symptoms associated with the Coronavirus infection (new continuous cough and/or high temperature). If staff present for work with these symptoms they should be advised to return home and observe the self-isolation measures advised by the Welsh Government: Self-isolating in your shared home during the coronavirus pandemic
Use of Delivery Staff
- You should check that any delivery drivers are correctly insured with business cover on their vehicle insurance policy.
- The vehicle should be generally clean and tidy, free from any source of contamination.
- Food Business Operators must satisfy themselves that delivery drivers do not smoke in their vehicles or whilst making deliveries.
- The delivery driver should be given a basic induction on handling the food correctly and health monitoring should be in place.
- Delivery staff need to be checked before starting their shift to ensure they aren’t showing any symptoms associated with the Coronavirus infection (new continuous cough and/or high temperature). If staff present for work with these symptoms they should be advised to return home and observe the self-isolation measures advised by the Welsh Government: Self-isolating in your shared home during the coronavirus pandemic
- The usual 48-hour exclusion applies for (non-Coronavirus related) sickness and diarrhoea.
- The driver, should avoid coming into the main kitchen area and avoid excessive kitchen staff contact. Kitchen staff should ‘box up’ the food and place in a low risk area of the kitchen 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 kitchen.
- The driver should be provided with alcohol hand sanitiser at 60% for periodic use between individual deliveries.
- The delivery box or bag must be made of a wipeable material e.g. plastic or similar, rather than fabric as this will not be easy to disinfect. The insulated box should be disinfected internally regularly, and at least daily.
- Use a separate insulated box for any cold food deliveries i.e. food to be re-heated later in the day, cold puddings, and cold foods delivered by retailers. These should be supplied with an adequate number of ice packs to ensure cold food arrives at 8˚C or colder. The ice packs should be sanitised in the same way as the delivery container.
- Any retail business offering a grocery delivery service must avoid packaging raw and ready to eat foods together where they are at risk of cross contamination. A separate means of transporting the raw and ready to eat elements of the delivery must be provided e.g. a raw cool-box and a ready to eat cool-box.
- The delivery staff should not hand over the food to the customer. There should be a set drop off point established in advance such as the door step. The doorbell or door can then be rung/knocked and the driver to distance themselves 6 feet (2 Metres) as per Public Health guidance. 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 customer’s property under any circumstance.
- If you are planning to provide food which customers can collect from your premises, much of the guidance above still applies.
- Encourage non-cash payments, with telephone, web-based, BACS or contactless payments being preferable.
- Designate a low risk area for the hand-over of the food, well away from the kitchen area and at a distance from as many staff as possible.
- Staff handing over the food should place the food down and keep a sensible distance from the customer. This area should regularly be sanitised throughout the day, including any hand contact surfaces that the customer may use such as entrance door handles, counter tops or service bells.