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Guidance for providing delivered food

Guidance for home caterers/food businesses on providing delivered food during the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus means many food businesses are now providing take-away or deliveries of food.

This advice is for those businesses that are providing takeaways and deliveries where they have not done so before.

The Food Standards Agency has also provided guidance on re-opening and adapting your food business during Covid-19. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the sector guidance for social distancing in the workplace and the general advice for food businesses.

You must contact us

Food businesses must be registered as a food business with their local authority first to be able to sell/supply food. If you are changing what you do you must tell the council that you are already registered with

Additional safe control measures

In addition to your normal safe control measures for preparing food safety you should consider the following:

  • Temperature control –keep high risk foods out of the temperature danger zone.
    • cold food must be at or below 8oC
    • hot food should be cooked to 75oC
    • hold hot food at or above 63oC until it’s served/prepared for delivery
    • check food temperatures regularly with a clean thermometer
  • Food wrapping - all food must be delivered to consumers in a way that ensures it cannot be contaminated. Use food grade wrapping such as lidded containers, cling film, foil tightly wrapped around the food.
  • Separate food - keep any raw food (including raw meat, fish, unwashed vegetables and fruit) separate from ready to eat foods, store them and deliver them in separate containers.
    Keep any food prepared for a customer with an allergy separate from any other foods, so that there is no risk of cross-contamination.
  • Allergens – if the food you’re supplying contains allergens you must provide information about them before the food is purchased, in writing or verbally over the telephone and in a written format when the food is delivered, for example written on a label. There is more information on allergen management on the Food Standards Agency website.

Keep delivery contact-free

Ensure you use social distancing, keep two metres between people.

We recommend you keep payments contactless, over the phone or online.

  • Take-away counters - set up an area for customers to stand, ensuring they are distanced from staff and other customers.
  • Home deliveries - ensure you have a system in place to find out whether customers are self-isolating, so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
    Leave deliveries at the customer’s doorstep, let the customer know you’ve arrived step back and wait nearby for your customer to collect the food.
  • Food delivery vehicles/containers - food delivery vehicles cars, cycles and similar, must be in good condition and clean.
    Boxes and trays used to store packaged food containers should be cleaned and disinfected frequently. Clean with a sanitiser/disinfectant (tested to BS EN 1276/BS EN 13697). Follow the contact time specified on the label and use a single-use cloth or paper towel.
  • Keeping food hot or cold whilst delivering - foods that need refrigerating must be kept cool while they are being transported, pack them in an insulated box or cool bag with cool pack(s). Hot food must be kept as hot as possible and transporting in an insulated box will help. We recommend you keep delivery distances short and times limited to within 30 minutes and no longer than two hours.

Delivery drivers should use hand sanitiser or disposable gloves and wash their hands thoroughly on return to the business.

The Food Standards Agency has provided advice for selling food online, for takeaway or delivery.

Staff hygiene and infection control

You and your staff must practise high levels of personal hygiene at all times. You must ensure food handlers (including delivery drivers) are fit for work. Staff must be provided with clear instructions about infection control and any staff likely to come into contact with food must report any illness or symptoms to the food business operator immediately.

The government has issued guidance on COVID-19 for employees and businesses.

Please contact us for any advice and/or to tell us if you are changing what you do:

Telephone: 01622 602450 or email