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Advice to businesses: how to provide deliveries and takeaways

Graphic of a pizza delivery person and pizza
We understand that businesses may want to diversify to allow takeaway and delivery provision during this challenging time. The below information provides guidance to businesses who are moving to this business model for the first time.

Who can provide a takeaway and delivery service?

A business can do this if they are registered as a food business with a Local Authority.

All foods must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures that they do not become unsafe or unfit to eat.

How should food be delivered?

Scientific advice states that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food, but, if you are changing how you are used to operating then you should think through the hazards and ensure that you have control measures in place.

Foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool while they are being transported. 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. It is recommended to keep distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has provided further advice on delivering food here.

How should allergies be handled?

You must ask every telephone customer if they need information about allergens and have the information available to give them, and include this facility on an internet ordering system.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has provided further advice on handling allergies here.

How can delivery be made contact-free?

Limiting contact when delivering orders will help keep to everyone healthy, so you could consider leaving deliveries at the door of your customer, rather than handing it over to them.  Knock on the door, step back at least 1 metre and wait nearby for your customer to collect it.

It is also advised that you take payments over the phone or internet rather than taking a cash payment.

How can infection control measures be implemented?

It is your responsibility 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 made aware of your infection control policy and any staff members that come into contact with food must report any illness or symptoms to the food business operator as soon as possible.

The Government has issued guidance on COVID-19 for employees and businesses here.

How can customers who are self-isolating be identified?

If you are undertaking deliveries, then you should have a system in place whereby clients can notify the restaurant/delivery drivers that they are self-isolating, so that action can be taken to ensure that the delivery is completely contact free.