With nearly three weeks of not prepping and frying Britain’s favourite takeaway, some of us are beginning to consider reopening our shops.
Whilst this is an exciting prospect, let’s get ourselves organised so we can operate in a safe and responsible manner.
Below are some FAQs along with some good, sound advice on reopening your shops and restaurants.
1. What can I do to keep on top of food safety at this time?
- Be prepared by planning ahead.
- Stay on top of hygiene and cleaning in your premises.
- Make sure that you have good supplies of hand soap, hand drying materials and the right cleaning chemicals.
- Make sure that staff are using cleaning chemicals in accordance with instructions and that your product is effective against viruses.
- Review your Safe Methods if there are any changes to your processes e.g. if you start to offer delivery, make sure you’ve thought about how you will make sure that the food will get to the customer in the same condition it left the premises, is kept hot or cold and is clearly labelled for the customer (more expert advice on takeaways and deliveries here).
2. What if a member of staff in my business becomes ill?
If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or high temperature, you must send them home and advise them to follow government advice to stay at home. This is very important to reduce the spread of coronavirus to others.
Please refer to the gov.uk website for detailed advice.
You should disinfect any equipment and areas where they have been working including all hand contact points throughout the premises. You should also discard any ready-to-eat foods (that will not undergo any further cooking) that the sick member of staff has handled or prepared.
3. What if I run out of soap for washing hands?
If you are struggling to obtain supplies of soap, you can use household detergent or washing up liquid as an alternative. The important thing to remember when cleaning hands is that it is the physical motion of hand washing and lathering which is the most effective method of removing dirt and germs from the surface of hands.
You could also ask neighbouring businesses if they have any spare soap for you to use or purchase. It would also be a good idea to contact your cleaning chemical supplier to ask if it is possible for them to reserve stock for you once their own supplies are replenished.
4. How can I reduce wastage?
Here are a few practical steps that you could take to help reduce food wastage in your business:
- Reduce your menu.
- Make smaller batches of food – ask for pre-orders (Click and Collect) in advance from customers to avoid unnecessary preparation.
- Freeze down foods where possible – if you freeze foods, then you must ensure that they are frozen before their use by date. Remember to label foods with the date that they are frozen and refer to packaging to check that food is suitable for freezing. Also consider freezing foods in portions that can be defrosted as required rather than all at once.
5. What steps can I take to prevent the spread of Covid-19 when customers visit my premises to pick up food?
The following is a list of tips that you can take to protect your staff and customers if they are visiting your premises to pick up food:
- Use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the shop if they have symptoms.
- Regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded.
- Use floor markings inside the shop space to allow social distancing of 2 metres, particularly in the most crowded areas such as serving counters and tills.
- Place plexiglass barriers at tills and counters if feasible, as an additional element of protection for workers and customers.
- Encourage the use of contactless payments where possible, being mindful that you don’t want to disadvantage older or vulnerable customers.
- Provide additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities if possible, providing soap, water and hand sanitiser.
Finally, if you are unsure of any procedures or require more information to enable you to operate at the safest possible standard, simply contact your local environmental health team.
Until next time, stay safe and check out our other Covid-19 advice articles here.
Frymax is the UK’s leading supplier of deep fat fryer oil. We provide high-quality, sustainable palm oil to restaurants all over the country. Get in touch for more information.