Advice for food businesses on re-opening
It is unusual for food businesses to be closed for a prolonged period of time. There are many important safety considerations for operators to consider before they re-open their businesses. We suggest you use a checklist to ensure you don't miss anything.
Food Safety Management Systems
- Review your Safer Food,Better Business file ensure its up to date - if suppliers have changed you may have different products/brands etc and therefore you will need to reassess your allergy information
- Consider refresher food hygiene training and allergen training if you have been closed for some time or if you are employing any new staff
- Ensure you record your cleaning and checks in your SFBB file
Buildings may have been empty and undisturbed for some time, so you must look for evidence of pests and take action if necessary, before restarting your operations. Check for:
- signs of damage or smearing to walls and doors
- gnawed or stained packaging
- footprints in dust
- animal droppings or urine smell
- insect bodies, larvae, cocoons and egg/pupal casings
- Arrange for contractors to undertake a pre-opening site survey, if required.
If you notice signs of pests in your premises you must not reopen until the pest problem has been resolved.
Cleaning and Hygiene
- Carry out a full deep clean and disinfection of the premises and all equipment using appropriate cleaning products
- Check that you have enough cleaning products (handwash, sanitiser, paper towel etc)
- Check that you have hot water from your taps, you cannot open if staff cannot wash their hands in warm water
- Follow the governments advice on cleaning of non-healthcare settings
- Switch on fridges and/or freezers a few days before opening to make sure they are still working and to allow them to get to the correct working temperature (have a thermometer handy)
- Check the date of all stock, make sure no food has past its 'Use by Date'.
- Label food items once they are taken out of the freezer with a date of defrost, defrosted in the fridge under temperature control and used within 24 hrs of defrost. Safe Method: Defrosting.
You should follow the government’s guidance on working safely. As more types of businesses are allowed to reopen the government will produce further guidance on this.
Recording staff and customer information for contact tracing
- Requirements for maintaining staff and customer records to support NHS track and trace
- Protecting customer and staff information - guidance from the Information Commissioners Office
Every business will have other health and safety considerations - please read the accompanying advice on reopening workplaces after the closure period
Rate this page
Give us your feedback on this page!