The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published guidance to assist businesses in the food industry with responding to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The new guidance has been developed alongside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and covers a range of areas including good hygiene practice, management of employee sickness and social distancing for specific food business settings.
It says it is very unlikely that people can catch Covid-19 from food, as Covid-19 is a respiratory illness and is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging.
The FSA is working with the food industry to ensure that businesses know what their responsibilities are and what actions they need to take to maintain safety standards and protect staff during the outbreak.
As well as the FSA, Bureau Veritas, a company specialising in testing, inspection and certification, has released a new ‘Emergency Preparedness Pack’ to help businesses respond to the growing risks of the pandemic.
The 15-page document has been created to help businesses identify and address the risk factors that coronavirus presents to their employees, business operations and service users. The guidance ranges from implementing a ‘social distancing’ rota system, for industries that cannot adopt remote working, to identifying whether some service users are from vulnerable groups thus will need special arrangements.
Ken Smith, chief executive at Bureau Veritas UK, said: “Understandably, with the public and businesses alike on high-alert as this pandemic continues to unfold, now is the time to consistently review, adapt and spearhead new ways of working. This will not only help to save lives but stand firms in good stead to resume ‘business as usual’ when the time comes.”