Advice to Existing Food Businesses - COVID-19

If you are already registered with the Council's Environmental Health Department as a food businesses then we are aware that you may want to diversify and provide takeaway food during this challenging time.

Introducing a new service, such as a takeaway service, must be carefully planned and details of how you will put safe food safety controls into practice must be recorded in your written food safety management plan.

Update - 30 March 2020

Whilst delivering food

Businesses may be stopped by the police as part of their new obligation under emergency Coronavirus legislation, enquiring about their journey.

We suggest all food business who are delivering food, takeaways as part of essential work that they have proof of their food registration, such as:

  • recent food inspection report/letter;
  • recent Food Hygiene Rating Certificate;
  • or able to signpost the police officer to the Food Standard's agency Food Hygiene Rating scheme.


A business will only be in a position to do this if they are registered already with a local authority

If you are transporting hot food, it should be kept hot. This may need to be packed in an insulated box. It is recommended to keep distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes.

The temperature of food must be controlled to ensure that harmful bacteria will not grow.

To maintain safe food temperatures you must consider the time it takes to portion/pack the food and the travel time during delivery. Hot food must be held at 63℃ or above.

Cold foods must be held below 8℃ to keep them safe, ideally between 0-5℃ during service or display.

Foods that need to kept cold (refrigeration) must be kept cold during delivery. This may be done in an insulated box or a cool bag with a coolant gel or ice packs.

Transport Containers

Hot boxes/cool boxes and containers used to transport food must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after use.

Hot soapy water using a fresh cloth followed by using a food safe sanitiser that meets BS EN 1276:2009 should be used, ensuring the correct contact time of the sanitiser (this should be on the sanitiser bottle). Ideally use disposable paper towel/roll for cleaning surfaces.

Cold foods must be held below 8℃ to keep them safe, ideally between 0-5℃ during service or display. The use of insulated cool boxes/bags with ice packs or insulated hot boxes will help comply with the requirements.

Allergy Advice

It is important that when customers contact you either by phone or internet ordering system that you ask the customer if they need information regarding allergens.  You must be able to provide advice to customers on any allergens that are contained in the food you produce.

You can get further advice on the law regarding allergens at

The Food Standards Agency has provided advice for business – How to manage a food business if you sell products online, for takeaway or for delivery at

Infection control

Your business has a duty under the food hygiene regulations and should have a policy which ensure staff are fit for work. It is also expected that the employer ensure the general health, safety and welfare of persons, including staff and persons not in their employment, such as customers,

Clear instructions should be provided to staff on infection control policy, anyone employed in a food business who has symptoms should report immediately to their Supervisor,

All food handlers must have a high degree of personal hygiene.

Regular and thorough hand washing must take place before handling food, after handling raw food, after using the toilet, after handling bins, after touching your face.

Clean, protective clothing should be worn when preparing food.

Food handlers must be excluded from working with food when they have symptoms of diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea or abdominal pain.

Food handlers and drivers who are ill or showing symptoms must be excluded from work

Food business operators must put in place all adequate controls to ensure that the food you serve is safe and not exposed to harmful contamination.

.For specific guidance on infection control in relation to Coronavirus (COVI-19) go to

How can customers who are self-isolating be identified?

Your business should have a system in place which will identify any persons who are self-isolating, so that staff whose duty it is to deliver are not coming into contact with potentially affected persons, and are leaving the deliveries on the doorstep, knocking, stepping away leaving a two (2) metre safe distance between them and a customer

Ideally, payments should be made over the phone, by internet or contactless (whilst adhering to two (2) metre rule of safe distance)

Last Updated on Friday, May 22, 2020