Customers must order, eat and drink outside whilst seated, however there is no requirement for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol and no curfew, and customers can also go inside the venue to use the toilets, as it stands.
The current understanding is that people are very unlikely to catch COVID-19 from food. However, it is likely that when venues do reopen to serve their customers outdoors, they will need to adapt and change the way they work to sell food outside the premises.
If you are reopening your food venue you will need to make sure that you account for any additional hazards introduced within these changes. You will need to review your Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures and wider food safety management system.
Measures such as temperature controls during food transport and service, pest control, hand washing and maintaining hygiene standards need to be considered and documented. For example, if there are no hand washing facilities outside, how are you going to make sure that your staff regularly clean their hands? If food is being transported and stored away from the main kitchen, how are you going to make sure the required temperatures are maintained? Your staff also need to be made aware of all changes made to your food safety management system and additional training may be required.
As well as communicating changes to your staff, communicating changes to customers is also important, especially information about how your business is working to keep everybody safe, as this will provide reassurance to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has created a ‘Here to Help’ campaign which provides guidance and best practice to support food businesses to stay compliant with food hygiene and how best to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. A reopening checklist is available on the FSA website to help to record progress when restarting a food business. For more information visit:
Our food safety consultants are on hand if would like further support with food safety assessment and we have health and safety consultants to support you with COVID-19 risk assessment or site inspections, please contact us for more information and to see how we can help you.