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Consumer Advice - Food advice and takeaway food during the Coronavirus outbreak

Rules on staying alert

Current Government rules state that we should stay alert. What this means is that we must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

More information on the updated rules are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

As before we can buy our food from supermarkets, but should not make regular visits, rather aiming to visit as infrequently as possible. Wherever possible we should make use of delivery services - either from supermarkets (although priority to delivery slots should be given to the vulnerable), or other deliveries such as fruit and vegetable box schemes.

Locally, a number of new delivery services, or deliveries to a local 'hub' are being set up and the use of these is encouraged.

 

Advice on Coronavirus and Food

It is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus (Covid-19) from food and we know that cooking thoroughly will kill the virus. It is a respiratory illness and is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging.

Everyone should wash their hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, to reduce the risk of illness and it is especially important to wash hands before handling food or eating.

Further information on this subject has been produced and is available on the Gov.uk website: Government Consumer Food Guidance.

In addition the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has produced Safe Shopping Guidance which provides information on good hygiene including hand washing and social distancing during and after shopping.

 

Food Delivery and Takeaway

We are allowed to visit cafes, restaurants and other food services to get a takeaway meal,  but should use a home delivery service if it is offered. We suggest that you leave a note on your front door asking the driver to ring the bell and step back to allow you to safely pick up your food alone. If we have to collect food we should all follow some simple guidance:

  • Order your food in advance by telephone or online.
  • Do not travel to collect the food until it is ready.
  • Avoid crowding outside the premises. Should you need to wait for your food you must maintain a 2 metre distance from others.
  • Pay by card rather than cash, ideally over the 'phone, or using an App. If onsite payment is necessary pay by contactless if possible.
  • If another customer is collecting their food, you should wait outside until they leave.
  • Do not enter until your food is ready.
  • Avoid any close contact with any shop staff- always maintain at least 2 metres separation from anyone.
  • Once home, empty the packaging contents into a clean dish and dispose of the packaging.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand sanitiser before eating.

 

Who should I contact if I think a business is operating when it should be closed?

If you have any concerns please contact the Food and Safety Team at eho.office@nfdc.gov.uk or by telephoning 023 8028 5230.

Updated: 13 May 2020
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