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Business support and advice

Ongoing support and advice for businesses as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Re-opening Food Businesses following Prolonged Closures

It is unusual for food businesses to be closed for a prolonged period. There are many important safety considerations for operators to consider before they re-open their businesses.

Food Safety Management Systems

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

Food Safety

  • 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.

Social Distancing

You should follow the governments guidance: Restaurants Offering Takeaway or Delivery

Other Health and Safety Considerations

For detailed safety guidance visit our advice for Employers and Employees page.

  • Carry out risk assessments, review existing risk assessments and put into place control measures to keep people safe

  • Carry out any essential or necessary works, maintenance and testing. If using contractors, ensure they are safe when working in your premises - both contractor and businesses must work together to communicate any concerns and control measures to each other
  • Make sure you have a hygienic water supply - whilst the building is closed, it is better to let water run through taps/showers etc regularly to reduce the risk of Legionella and other bacteria building up in the water system. If this has not been done, have the water system tested first
  • Identify all equipment and installations that may have missed their planned preventative maintenance, inspection, test or thorough examination. Make sure they are maintained, tested, inspected, examined by a competent person before being put back into use.

Examples include:

  • pressure systems
  • lifts and lifting equipment
  • gas installations and equipment
  • electrical equipment and installations
  • extraction systems
  • ventilation systems vehicles
  • manual handling equipment
  • metal detecting equipment
  • guarding
  • security equipment 

Using a Checklist

Before re-opening your business you must ensure your staff and customers are safe.

A good way to ensure you don't miss anything is to use a checklist.

You can either create your own checklist or download the PDF checklist that we have created for you Icon for pdf Re-opening Checklist for Food Businesses following Prolonged Closure [654.97KB]

For further help and advice please contact us on 01772 906907 or via email on info@preston.gov.uk.

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