COVID – 19 : Basic requirements to open your food business

COVID – 19 : Basic requirements to open your food business

In the last few months, the hospitality sector, as with so many other sectors, has had a difficult time. The priority has been to stay closed and people stay at home in order to save lives.
As restrictions are being gradually lifted, restaurant owners would have to live with some of these restrictions for a long while when they open up for business.
Safeintel has put together 5 basics requirements that will protect your employees, customers and product when you decide to open for business.

1. Temperature Screening

If your employees feel unwell or have elevated temperature, they should
report it and stay at home in accordance with government guidelines.

• Put in place temperature screening for employees. This is to prevent any employee with elevated temperature (>38 oC) coming into work.
• Brief all employees to report COVID – 19 symptoms such as continuous coughing, sneezing, high temperature.

2. Hand Washing

Employees should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20seconds.

  • Ensure soap and running water are available and are checked as part of your daily checklist.
  • Check that you have sufficient stock of soap and sanitizers.
  • Add posters around kitchen and wash hand stations reminding employees of 20 seconds rule.
  • If soap is not available, use alcohol-based sanitizer with a minimum of 60% alcohol content.
  • Employees should avoid using their hands to touch eyes, mouth and face.

3. Cleaning and Disinfection

It is very important in order to prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus that surfaces are cleaned and disinfected regularly. This is even more important for “high-touch surfaces” i.e. frequently touched surfaces.

  • Update your cleaning schedule to include high touch surface such as door handles,
  • key pads of card payment machines, multi-use dispensers handle etc.
    Use approved chemicals for cleaning only
  • Offer customers sanitizers or wipes to clean and sanitizer their hands or surfaces regularly

4. Social Distancing

Maintain social distancing of 2 meters for both employees and customers.

  • Install signs on the floors, walls to reinforce and encourage 2 meters (or 6 feet) physical distancing.
  • Check out or payment stations should have barriers to protect employees from customers where possible,
  • Create designated points for collection of deliveries and ensure customer collections times are well spaced to avoid customer gatherings

5. Home Delivery & Takeaway

Home delivery protocols should meet hygiene and social distancing requirement

  • All delivery containers should be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Always maintain the right temperature for products. Chilled food should be kept at <8oC and warm food should be maintained hot.
  • Use insulated boxes to maintain hot temperature during delivery
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Useful advice is that you cook food until it has reached 70°C for 2 minutes or 75oC for 3 seconds at the core.
  • Avoid allergen cross contamination during delivery.
  • Always ask for allergen information from customers before placing orders and add an allergen declaration sticker on the delivery pack.
  • Always use social distancing when dropping deliveries e.g Customers pick up product from vehicle trunk, or ask customers to provide a suitable drop off point.
  • Notify consumers by text or phone call when delivery will be arriving or has arrived. 

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