The following advice is for existing food businesses looking to introduce takeaways and delivery options where they have not done so before.

We understand that businesses may look to change their business model and diversify in order to maintain their business during this time.

Our Food Safety Officers at Environmental Health are available to talk through your plans and offer free advice on what procedures and practices you need to put in place, please phone 01395 517456 or email to be put in touch with your district officer.

Additional food safety measures

If you are changing how you currently operate, then you should think through the food safety hazards and ensure that you have control measures in place to provide safe food for your customers. In addition to the current food safety controls you already have in place these are additional issues you need to consider: 

  • Suppliers - ensure you continue to use reputable suppliers.
  • Surface disinfectants - where suitable surface disinfectants are unavailable you must continue to adequately clean any food preparation surfaces and equipment using detergent and hot water. You need to take additional care to physically separate raw and cooked food areas and equipment if you cannot get a food safe sanitiser.
  • Cross contamination - You must not use the same equipment for raw and ready to eat foods unless you can effectively clean and sanitise it between uses. Complex equipment such as Vac Packers must not be used for both raw and cooked products unless you have discussed and agreed a cleaning and sanitising method with the Environmental Health Team.
  • Hand washing - Regardless of the availability of hand sanitisers, all food handlers should regularly wash their hands using warm running water, hand soap and drying with disposable towels.
  • Temperature control - Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool during transportation. This may need to be packed in an insulated box with a coolant gel or in a cool bag. If you are transporting hot food, it should be kept hot. This may need to be packed in an insulated box or bag. It is recommended to keep travel distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes.
  • Allergens – Ensure staff taking orders always ask customers if they have a food allergy, and that you provide staff with adequate information so they can advise customers on what your food contains. If you have made any changes to your menu ensure you have reviewed your allergy information. It is also vitally important to protect your customers that you work through this allergen risk assessment [1.19MB]. There is also a wealth of advice for businesses on allergen management on the FSA website. Do not serve people with a food allergy or intolerance if you cannot guarantee that their food has not been contaminated with their specific allergen.
  • Vehicles - All vehicles used to transport or deliver food must be kept clean, in good repair and condition and free from sources of contamination to protect food. All foods must be fully wrapped or packaged for transport or delivery to prevent contamination.
  • Contact-free delivery - When customers place an order you need to ask if they are self-isolating, this is so that you limit contact when delivering orders to help keep everyone healthy. You could consider leaving deliveries at the door of your customer, rather than handing it over to them. Knock on the door, then step back at least 2 metres and wait nearby for your customer to collect it. Consider how you are going to take payment to minimise any contact between staff and customers, can you take credit/debit payments over the phone?
  • Infection Control - You are responsible to ensure food handlers are fit for work under the food hygiene regulations. In addition you have a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of persons in your employment and members of the public. Relevant staff must be provided with clear instructions on any infection control policy in place, any person with illness or symptoms must report it to a person in charge. Ensure the Government's infection control policy in relation to coronavirus is followed. For details visit UK - COVID 19: Guidance for Employees, Employers and Businesses.

For more information on how to sell products for takeaway or delivery visit the FSA - Distance selling, mail order and delivery.