Reopening your food business after a period of closure will require some extra checks alongside your ‘normal’ daily opening checks. These will help to make sure that your business can restart safely. You will need to maintain your basic hygiene standards and recognise the areas where greater attention will be required.
This review should consider all changes to your business’s processes and services connected to coronavirus (COVID-19). This could include changes to production, workflow management, staffing, customer interactions and any required control measures.
Completing this reopening checklist will allow you to record progress when restarting your food business
Get your reopening checklist for food businesses during Covid-19 as a PDF
Planning and preparation for start-up
Check your Local Authority is informed of current food activities
If your business requires staff to wear PPE, check you have adequate stocks available.
Review any PPE laundering procedures, where appropriate, to ensure PPE worn by staff can be safely changed and cleaned regularly.
Ensure any changes to procedures are communicated to staff and training is provided where appropriate, including training of any new staff.
Check registered waste carrier services
Ensure that your registered waste carrier services are running and available as required, to ensure there is no build-up of waste on-site.
Check food preparation areas are clean and disinfected (this includes work surfaces, equipment and utensils)
Carry-out a full site assessment to determine if you can undertake a thorough clean or if a professional deep clean is needed.
Source suitable cleaning and disinfection consumables and check existing stocks are within their use-by date. Cleaning products made-up or diluted before any closure should be disposed of as effectiveness reduces over time. See our guidance if your regular cleaning products are not available.
Assess if staff need re-training on dilution rates and cleaning procedures.
Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection, paying particular attention to shared equipment and high through-put and touch areas.
Check all areas are free from evidence of pest activity
Look for evidence of pests, and take action if necessary, before restarting your operations. Check for:
signs of damage or smearing to walls and doors
gnawed or stained packaging
footprints in dust
animal droppings or urine smell
insect bodies, larvae, cocoons and egg/pupal casings
Consider resetting your pest-control schedule if necessary.
Arrange for contractors to undertake a pre-opening site survey if required.
Check hand washing and cleaning materials’ availability (this includes soap, sanitiser and paper towels)
Make sure all consumables are within dates for use.
Obtain enough of your regular cleaning consumables such as soap, sanitiser and paper towels. Provide suitable alternatives if your regular products are unavailable.
Check probe thermometers are working properly, and probe wipes are available
Consider whether probe thermometers need to be recalibrated.
Ingredient and product checks
Check raw materials and ingredients
Check for any damage to packaging which might affect the safety of food or result in loss of allergen information.
Check for any evidence of temperature abuse which may render the food unsafe. Refer to temperature control records where available.
Check the use-by and best before dates on existing stock. Ensure that storage has been in-line with the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, check that any opened or unsealed product has been stored in line with labelled instruction such as ‘Once opened consume within’.