The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance for preparing restaurants and food businesses (such as pubs, bars and cafes) for reopening during coronavirus. Are you up-to-date on the requirements and your responsibilities? This checklist guide will point you in the right direction.
From checking with your local authority to cleaning, making adjustments and restocking, here are the steps you need to take when preparing to reopen your restaurant, cafe, bar or pub.
The government’s latest guidance applies to food preparation or service settings where food and drink is sold for consumption. It includes:
It also takes into account entertainment you may host in your pub or restaurant.
This is one of the first things you’ll need to do when preparing to reopen your restaurant, bar, pub or food business. It’ll help you identify risks, especially anything related to coronavirus transmission, or being shut for a long period. You should record your review in your Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan – read up on this in our restaurant health and safety guide – or your Safer food, better business pack (if you’re in Northern Ireland, this is your Safe catering guide).
Your review will need to account for any coronavirus-related changes in your business activities. For example, you might be rethinking production, roles and responsibilities, staffing, customer interactions and other measures.
Use the government’s checklist PDF to keep track of your preparations and measures, and revisit when necessary.
You’ll need to get in contact with your local authority before reopening, as well as your waste disposal services. Here are the key government-advised steps.
If you’re planning to restart your operations, you’ll need to notify your local authority. You’ll also need to tell them about any changes to your business activities, for example if you’re introducing a new delivery service.
You’ve reviewed your FSMS for risks, so this step is about updating it with details of any new procedures as a result of Covid-19, being shut for a long period, or other risk factors. You might need to include:
You’ll need to check that rubbish and waste will be cleared away by your usual registered waste services, ensuring there won’t be any on-site build-up.
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This part of your restaurant, pub or cafe reopening covers food preparation areas, pest activity (important if you’ve had to close for a long period), as well as hand washing and cleaning products.
These areas need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly, with equipment and utensils factored in:
Concerned or need more help with sourcing your cleaning products? Use the government cleaning guidance to decide what you need to get up and running.
Empty properties can be vulnerable to pest activity, so do a thorough check before reopening. Warning signs include damage and smearing to walls and doors, gnawed and stained packaging, footprints, droppings and smells, insect bodies and casings, and feathers.
You might need to arrange for a contractor to survey your site before reopening, if there are signs of pests.
This will include soap, sanitiser and paper towels, with hot and cold running water at all sinks. You’ll also need to factor in your toilet facilities:
From fridges to ovens, you’ll need to check your equipment is clean, safe and working properly. Here are some of the main types of equipment and checks you’ll need to make:
Raw materials, ingredients and allergens all need to be factored in to your reopening planning:
You’ll need to do a thorough check on your allergen management system before reopening, especially if your suppliers or practices have changed, or you’re using any new products.
If you’ve added a takeaway or delivery service to your business, make sure cross-contamination risks are being managed. Whatever type of food business you’re running, make allergen information available to customers when they order and take delivery of food.
These new measures are designed to keep you, your employees and suppliers, and customers safe during coronavirus. Here’s the government advice:
Music, sport broadcasts, quizzes and lots more are part of business as usual, especially for pubs and bars. The government has advised that venues shouldn’t hold live performances in front of a live audience at this time.
The below guidance also applies:
The government also points you to their guidance on social distancing, customer interaction and communication or instructions to the public, which includes their five steps to working safely and restaurants offering takeaway or delivery information.
Are you preparing to reopen your restaurant, cafe, bar or pub? What are your biggest concerns, and is the government’s guidance clear enough? Let us know in the comments.
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