The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a number of businesses moving to a takeaway model.

This article provides guidance on key food and health & safety requirements for the provision of a takeaway service.

Food Safety

Food Preparation

  • Food should be prepared in a safe and hygienic manner. Follow your HACCP/Food Safety Procedures.
  • Suppliers may be affected.
  • Where possible food should be cooked/reheated to order.
  • Follow usual guidelines for preventing cross contamination -keep ready to eat foods separate from raw/unwashed foods.
  • Frequent & enhanced cleaning and sanitising of all surfaces and food/condiment containers is essential.
  • Have a designated clean area for prepared meals to be stored whilst awaiting delivery.
  • Do not allow customers to serve their own condiments.
  • Continue to monitor and record due diligence temperature records as normal, such as:
    • incoming deliveries
    • fridges & freezer temperatures
    • cooking/reheating temperatures
    • bulk cooking and cooling
    • hot & cold holding etc.
  • Use your usual due diligence forms or the Food Alert COVID19 – Takeaway Daily Checklists

Personal Hygiene

  • Ensure all food handlers wash their hands regularly with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Ensure soap and hand towels are fully stocked and provide hand sanitiser as an additional control after hand washing where possible.
  • Encourage all staff to adopt social distancing by keeping 2 metres apart where possible.
  • All staff need to be checked daily to ensure they aren’t showing any relevant coronavirus symptoms (fever, persistent cough etc.). If so, they need to be immediately sent home as per the self-isolation guidance from Public Health England (PHE).
  • The 48 hour exclusion rule still applies for non-coronavirus sickness and diarrhoea symptoms.


  • Continue to follow the allergen controls and procedures you have in place in order to prevent against possible cross contamination.
  • Ensure allergen information is accurate and up to date and can be provided to customers where required regardless of how they place their order.
  • Check the ingredients lists where you have purchased similar/new ingredients from new suppliers.
  • If you have added new menu items ensure you review the allergy information.
  • Consider publishing allergen information online for customers.
  • Ask customers if they have any food allergies or intolerances prior to taking their order. If customers are ordering online ensure there is an area for them to note their allergies/intolerances information.
  • Keep records of any orders where a customer has advised of an allergy.
  • Do not serve people with a food allergy or intolerance if you cannot guarantee that their food has not been contaminated with their specific allergen.
  • Ensure any allergen/dietary request orders are packaged separately and double bagged in order to help prevent against possible cross contamination.
  • Allergen/dietary request orders should be labelled in order to help prevent any possible confusion.
  • Use the Food Alert order form if you do not have any other means to capture this: COVID19 Takeaway Order Form


  • Wash hands between packing each customer’s meal.
  • Once prepared, food should be placed in a suitable food grade container for takeaway.
  • Where possible avoid plastic packaging where the virus can live for long periods. Cardboard and paper bags are recommended if possible.
  • Avoid journey times of more than 30 minutes.
  • Food to be transported in insulated containers to help maintain temperature control.
  • Do not place hot and cold food in the same container.
  • Keep details of all orders and deliveries.
  • During storage, keep containers covered, stored inverted and off the floor.

Ordering & Collections

  • Restrict ordering to online and email/phone orders only to reduce person to person contact.
  • Payment by debit/credit card where possible rather than cash.
  • Advise customers placing orders of the approximate time their food will be ready for collection.
  • Keep up to date with government guidance on the type of takeaway/ delivery service you are allowed to do. Be aware that this guidance may change daily.
  • If you accept pickups, limit the number of customers inside at any given time.
  • Customers should remain at a safe distance from staff and each other –at least 2 metres apart.
  • Mark the floor to show safe distance
  • Create a designated/hatched area for pick up.
  • Front of house staff to regularly wash their hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Provide hand sanitiser for use where possible.
  • Front of house staff to regularly clean and sanitiser all hand contact surfaces e.g. counters, tills, credit card machines.
  • Display COVID –19 signage on the door or somewhere visible to customers advising of additional safety measures being taken at this time. (This poster can be emailed to you in pdf format if you require it)

Contact Free Food Deliveries

  • Delivery staff must not enter the customer’s property in any circumstances.
  • Where possible, use a 3rdparty delivery company.
  • Delivery staff are food handlers and should receive a basic induction on food handling and health monitoring should be in place.
  • Delivery persons should avoid coming into the kitchens and avoid staff contact where possible.
  • Staff should box up and leave in a low risk area away from the kitchen for the delivery person to collect.
  • Establish from the customer if they are self-isolating when the order is placed. If so, advise they must pay over the phone or online and obtain their contact telephone number.
  • Delivery staff must not enter the customer’s property in any circumstances.
  • If a delivery is being made to a customer who is self-isolating, the delivery staff should telephone the customer when they arrive at their house and advise that the order has been left at their door.
  • For all other customers, ring the doorbell and then step back at least 2 metres and wait nearby for your customer to collect it.
  • Provide delivery staff with hand sanitiser and/or disposable gloves which should be changed regularly and between customers.
  • Ask customers to put any chilled food in the fridge and hot food in the oven unless it will be served straight away.

Third Party Deliveries

  • Offers a larger reach to your business.
  • You must prove that the business is registered with the council and have a specified FHR.
  • Some platforms are offering discounts and incentives for signing up.
  • All offer contact free delivery at check out.
  • Create a designated Packing area.
  • Have a courier waiting area.
  • Ensure that couriers can stay 2 metres apart from restaurant staff /customers at all times.
  • Help buy meals for the NHS staff fighting COVID-19

Health & Safety

Delivery Staff

  • Ensure delivery staff have a constant means of communication with the site e.g. mobile phone. Ensure such devices are fully charged at the start of each shift.
  • If delivery staff do not contact you or return to site in the expected time contact them to locate their whereabouts and safety.
  • Ensure delivery staff are provided with the full address of the customer and use ‘maps’ on their phone if required.
  • Ensure delivery staff wear weather appropriate clothing.

Deliveries by Foot

  • Where possible deliveries should not occur after dark.
  • If they must, delivery staff should be provided with hi-vis clothing and deliveries should be within a 15 minute walk.

Vehicle Deliveries

  • All vehicles should be fully insurance, taxed and have a full MOT.
  • All vehicles should be road worthy and pre-use checks should be carried out for example tyres, fuel, oil, brakes, lights, wipers and wiper wash (where applicable).
  • All delivery drivers should have an appropriate licence for the vehicle being used. All delivery drivers must adhere to the Highway Code.
  • Staff making deliveries by bike/motorbike etc. should be provided with lights, hi-vis clothing and must wear a helmet.

Staff Working on Site

  • No lone working to take place during opening hours.
  • There should always be at least two members of staff on any given shift.
  • If a single member of staff is opening the site, the door should be locked until the site is due to open and/or another member of staff arrives.
  • At least 2 members of staff should close the site.
  • Ensure that any cash is regularly banked or locked in the safe.


  • Certain facilities may be used less during the COVID-19 outbreak, for example:
    • Customer toilets
    • Front of house/Bar basins

To reduce the risk of legionella bacteria, run the taps in these areas on a weekly basis in addition to the usual legionella checks such as Sentinel taps etc.




Covid-19, Food Safety


Food Alert