Coronavirus and Food Safety – Providing Takeaway and Delivery Services
The social distancing impact on our industry is unprecedented and we are aware that food companies are considering ways that they can not only keep their businesses running but also support their local communities. Several food businesses have moved to providing takeaway and delivery services.
The Government has announced that planning rules will be relaxed so that pubs and restaurants can operate as takeaways for a limited time. Click here for more information. You should notify your local environmental health department if you have substantially changed the nature of your operation but you don’t require permission in order to do so.
Safer Food Scores has put together this advice to support you if this is something that you have done or are considering doing.
Food safety guidance for delivering takeaway foods
- Food handlers should wash hands for at least 20 seconds before packaging up take-away foods.
- Deliver cold foods at or below 8◦C.
- Deliver hot foods at or above 63◦C.
- Make sure that the food is protected by double bagging and sealing so it cannot be contaminated.
- If the journey time is likely to be more than 30 minutes, use a refrigerated delivery van or insulated containers that will keep foods at the right temperature.
- Either label the product or advise customers to put any chilled food into their fridge and any hot food into an oven unless it will be served straight away.
- Continue to document all of your due diligence checks such as incoming food deliveries, storage temperatures, cooking, reheating and cooling times and temperatures, opening and closing checks and any other checks you do.
Providing allergen information
Taking orders – on-line or telephone
By law, allergen information must be made available at the point of ordering therefore:
- If customers can order online, allergen information (or details of how it can be obtained) should be available on the website
- If customers contact you by telephone, direct customers to your website if allergen information is available there.
Otherwise ensure the person providing allergen information verbally is properly trained and has access to accurate allergen information on each of your dishes. If it is the case, make sure they are clear that cross-contact with allergens may be possible. “If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know so that we can help you choose. As allergens are present in our kitchen and some of our ingredients have ‘may contain’ warnings, we cannot guarantee menu items will be completely free from allergens”.
By law, allergen information must be made available at the point of delivery therefore:
- Provide allergen information (or details of how it can be obtained) on menu flyers or food labels.
- Include on the flyer or food label your statement regarding any allergen cross- contact risks e.g. “As allergens are present in our kitchen and some of our ingredients have ‘may contain’ warnings, we cannot guarantee menu items will be completely free from allergens”.
- As before, make sure each item is labelled clearly with the name of the food and ‘eat on day of purchase’. If any food has been specially requested by an allergy sufferer this should be highlighted.
Social distancing advice for collections and deliveries
Keeping everyone healthy is our priority so taking steps to limit contact is advisable especially if you are otherwise closed to the public.
- Only allow telephone or on-line orders and avoid accepting cash, take card payments at ordering prior to delivery wherever possible.
- Operate a queuing system or specify a pick-up time to avoid physical contact between anyone collecting food or delivery personnel and your staff.
- Display signage explaining social distancing rules on doors.
- Designate or mark out a set down/pick up area such as a floor area and table in part of the restaurant. Allow a distance of at least 2 metres between people.
- Provide either additional temporary hand wash facilities or hand sanitiser for anyone collecting food.
- Ensure that restaurant staff set the packaged food down and move away at least 2 metres before the collector or delivery personnel picks it up.
- Delivery personnel should place the food into the transport bag/box immediately.
- Delivery personnel should set the food down at the customers door, knock or ring at the door before moving back at least 2 metres. Wait at the customers property until they have collected the food.
Delivering pre-packaged foods
If food to be delivered has been pre-packaged in advance (and not at the time of the customer order), by law, full product labelling is required – much like what you would see on a retail product.
Full labelling includes:
- The name of the food (customary, legal or descriptive)
- The percentage of certain ingredients
- An ingredients list with any specified allergens contained (in a different format)
- Any additives contained
- If it contains a genetically modified ingredient
- If any of the ingredients have been irradiated
- The nutritional content
- The weight, volume or quantity
- Use by or best before date
- A batch or lot number
- Name and address of business
- Place of origin if omission could mislead
- Any special storage instructions
- Any instructions for use such as cooking/reheat instructions
- Food specific requirements e.g. warnings
Clearly this is very detailed information so if you would like further guidance on this Safer Food Scores have labelling expertise to assist with this.
Providing allergen information for your customers
It is a legal requirement to provide accurate, consistent and verifiable allergen information.
We can assist by:
- Carrying out menu and recipe analysis to inform your food allergen declarations; and/or
- Configure your allergen data using Menu Guide software. Customers can gain access to your allergen menu by scanning a QR code on the menu with their phones or access the information via your website. Customers can also filter the menu dependent on their dietary requirements so they would just see the foods that they could eat. As well as ensuring customers advise you of any allergies, we can also ensure that it requires them to confirm that they understand any cross- contact risks.
Allergen awareness and food safety training for your business
Making sure your teams are fully trained or refreshed on food safety and allergen awareness is essential for both legal compliance and for good food safety and allergen practice in your business.
• A Game to Train Level 2 E-learning:
We have a special offer on our revolutionary game-based Level 2 Food Safety e- learning https://agametotrain.co.uk/ Normally £19 each, we are offering these courses at £10 (plus VAT) each if purchased before the end of April 2020 (minimum order size 10)
• Highfield e-learning allergen awareness
Covering the basics such as allergen identification and controls. This course costs £14 plus VAT each (10-19 courses) £12 plus VAT each (20 – 49 courses). There is a minimum order of 10 however any combination of our e- learning courses can be ordered.
Click here for some great deals and more information on our excellent range of e- learning courses
Please contact us at email@example.com or on 01442 877322 if we can help further.