Coronavirus: Business advice

As a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19), an increasing number of food businesses are providing hot and cold food deliveries. To help ensure such activities are carried out safely, we recommend the following procedures are implemented:

  • all food must be protected against contamination
  • high risk ready to eat (RTE) foods must be kept covered using lidded containers, cellophane/aluminium foil tightly wrapped over the plate/bowl of food. Only use food grade disposable containers
  • raw foods, if any, to be completely segregated from RTE foods
  • vehicles used for deliveries must be maintained in good condition and clean
  • if packaged foods are delivered in outer containers (insulated boxes/trays/boxes etc) these must be cleaned and disinfected between deliveries
  • hot foods must be checked to ensure they reach safe temperatures on cooking/reheating (above 750C) and be hot (above 630C) at time of despatch. Such foods must be delivered in insulated  containers to maintain temperatures and should reach the customer as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours
  • high risk cold foods must be below 80C (ideally below 50C) at time of despatch  and should be delivered as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours. The use of insulated containers is advisable
  • any returned containers must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to re-use. Upon collection such returned items should be placed in a dedicated tray/box for transport back to the business premises
  • after each delivery staff must sanitise their hands on return to their vehicle and thoroughly clean them on return to the business premises
  • staff must practice the highest standards of personal hygiene at all times
  • staff should not enter customers' properties and should keep as far away from customers as is possible when handing over the food
  • if at all possible payment should be collected over the phone or via internet ordering. If this is not possible staff must sanitise their hands after handling customers' money or other items.
  • You must provide allergen information to your customers.    For further guidance see Food Standards Agency Allergen guidance for food businesses

Further food safety guidance can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.