Food safety when eating out in a Covid-19 world
Food safety has always been an important and relevant topic. After all, treating food properly makes the difference between happy restaurant customers and a case of food poisoning.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an increased focus on the importance of food safety and hygiene. With confinements slowly being lifted, many people are eager to escape from the four walls of their home. Having a meal out is a logical step, providing a sense of normality and a night off from cooking. But, how can you be sure that the right food safety advice is being followed when you select an eating establishment?
The Existing Standards
COVID-19 hasn’t altered the original standards for cleanliness. All food preparation businesses should be wearing masks, the food processing equipment should be clean and well looked after. There should also be separate equipment for cooked and uncooked foods.
Foods need to be stored correctly, cooked and uncooked foods should be kept separately, while high-quality cleaning products should be used to retain cleanliness in the kitchen, especially on food preparation surfaces.
Additional Coronavirus Food Safety Controls
In these Covid-19 times, it is important that everyone takes extra precautions to ensure food safety, especially when dining out.
The first thing that everyone needs to be doing is washing their hands regularly. Anyone involved in food preparation should wash their hands when switching from one food type to another. The servers should wash or sanitize their hands as soon as they have been in contact with one set of customers or another member of staff. This will help to prevent any germs from spreading between people.
It is also extra important that sneezing and coughing are kept away from the food. (If you suspect you have COVID-19 and are working in food services you need to go home straight away and speak to a doctor if necessary.) Of course, you can sneeze for other reasons, such as allergies. In this instance, you need to contain the sneeze in a tissue or the shoulder of your t-shirt. Wash your hands properly before continuing with food prep.
Face masks currently are recommended to be worn by anyone preparing or serving food. It’s not necessary to wear them if you’re eating in the restaurant as that makes it rather difficult to eat!
Check Recent Advice
The pandemic is constantly evolving, as is the advice given by the government. This means it is important to check the latest advice regularly. You’ll be able to ensure you are complying with the advice and that your local restaurant is. Don’t be afraid to report a business that isn’t complying; it’s not just their health they are playing with, it can affect everyone in the community.
Don’t forget that the Coronavirus is not believed to be transmitted by food, so your itself food is likely safe. It’s the hard objects, like the table and chairs, or even the menu, where the bacteria can sit for a surprisingly long time. The key to making sure the virus is not passed on is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
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