Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Supporting our local businesses

Pages in Supporting our local businesses

  1. 1. Supporting our local businesses
  2. 2. Business rates
  3. 3. Grants and loans for businesses
  4. 4. Support for the self-employed
  5. 5. You are here: Guidance for food businesses
  6. 6. Operating safely during Covid-19

5. Guidance for food businesses

The Government has published guidance for food businesses on coronavirus.

There is also guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.

From Monday 12 April 2021 in line with the Roadmap out of lockdown, hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, to serve customers in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcohol, and no curfew. The requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain.

These venues may allow customers to use toilets, baby changing rooms or breast-feeding rooms located inside.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may also need to consider the guidance for shops, hotels and accommodation providers or entertainment venues.

Some venues may wish to erect outdoor shelters. To be considered 'outdoors', shelters, marquees and other structures can have a roof but need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls always open whilst in use.  In practice this means your outside shelter must not have sides, including doors, windows or other fittings that can be opened or shut, that enclose more than 50% of the shelter.

Hospitality venues will also be allowed to provide takeaway alcohol. Takeaway food and drink (including alcohol) must not be consumed on the premises or adjacent to the premises.

We urge all businesses to follow the government's direction in respect to Coronavirus (Covid 19), if followed the guidance will help you to run a safe food business and protect yourself, your staff and your customers from the risk of becoming infected with Covid-19.

Further guidance:

Social distancing still applies

Businesses offering outdoor service, takeaways and food deliveries should take the following precautions to follow social distancing wherever possible:

  • Keep groups apart when seating, placing, or collecting orders. Consider using barriers between groups and manage the number of customers at the venue to maintain social distancing (2m between people not tables, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).
  • customers should be discouraged from entering the premises to place their order or if collecting a takeaway, until their order is ready to collect.  Customers should wait outside while it is prepared if possible.
  • 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 meters separation.

Please note: social distancing also applies on the journey to and from work, as well as for employee communal areas, such as canteens and break rooms.

Food safety advice if providing food from home

If you are selling food you have prepared from your home, you must be registered with Reigate & Banstead Borough Council as a food business.

If you are offering to prepare and deliver any form of cooked or prepared food from your home for the community, then there are a number of additional things you need to consider, to ensure that the food you are preparing and delivering is safe to eat:

  • The ingredients are within their expiry dates and are not at risk of causing a bacterial infection
  • Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool (ideally below 8°C) while being transported using a cool bag/insulated box
  • Cook foods to above 75°C to kill off food poisoning bacteria
  • Hot foods should be kept ideally above 63°C and may also need to be packed in an insulated box
  • Travel times should be limited to less than 30 minutes.

The Food Standards Agency has published some further hygiene and allergy advice for individuals cooking for the community.

This is also relevant if you're planning to cook for your neighbours. However, we recommend that if you'd like to help others by providing food, that you contact Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead (VARB) who is coordinating the volunteering efforts for the borough.

Contact us

If you do want to provide food from your own home, please call the Environmental Health team on 01737 276 417 or email [email protected] to get advice and support to ensure you are doing so safely.