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Handling food? Wash, those hands

Source: HM Government | | 26/10/2020

If you are considering any change to your business activities that will involve handling any packaged food or raw ingredients, as you would expect, there are a raft of regulations that you will need to consider and adopt.

The Department of the Environment has published considerable guidance on the GOV.UK website. Simply Google “Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus”. A brief extract from their guidance follows. 

Although it is very unlikely that COVID-19 is transmitted through food or food packaging, as a matter of good hygiene practice your staff should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done routinely, including:

  • before and after handling food 
  • before handling clean cutlery, dishes, glasses, or other items to be used by the customer
  • after handling dirty or used items, such as collecting used dishes from customer tables 
  • after handling money 
  • after touching high-contact surfaces, such as door handles
  • when moving between different areas of the workplace
  • after being in a public place
  • after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Coughs and sneezes should be caught in a tissue or the crook of your elbow

Food packaging should be handled in line with usual food safety practices and staff should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of working.

Readers who need more information should research the following:

  • Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) guidance on personal hygiene and hygienic practices in food preparation, 
  • Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) processes and 
  • Guidance on risk assessment from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).


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