Supporting our local businesses
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5. Guidance for food businesses
On 11 May, the Government published new guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has detailed Food takeaway and delivery guidance.
Reopening food businesses
Reopening your food business after a period of closure will require some extra checks alongside your ‘normal’ daily opening checks. The Food Standards Agency has created a handy reopening checklist for food businesses.
They have also published information about reopening and adapting your food business during Covid-19.
Social distancing still applies
PHE advises that businesses offering takeaways and food deliveries take the following precautions to follow social distancing wherever possible:
- 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.
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 degrees C) while being transported through the use of a cool bag/insulated box
- hot foods should be kept ideally above 63 degrees C and may also need to be packed in an insulated box
- travel times are 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 co-ordinating the volunteering efforts for the borough.
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.