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Guidelines for Food Service Establishments

Employees MUST NOT report to work if they have symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, respiratory symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or loss of the sense of taste/smell. If in doubt call the COVID Hotline at 462-6843

If an employee is sick send them home immediately. Clean and disinfect surfaces in their work place. Others at the facility with close contact (i.e. within 6ft) of the employee during this time is considered exposed.

Instruct employees who are well, but know they have been exposed to COVID-19 to notify their supervisor

Employees absent from work due to suspected COVID-19, MUST NOT return to work unless cleared by a Medical Doctor.

Inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the work place, if an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, while maintaining confidentiality.

Implement workplace control to reduce transmission among employees

Workers with a cough, runny nose, jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, should not be permitted at work.

Employers can consider the use of a touchless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of their employees each day before they enter. Any person who has a temperature of 99°F and above, should not be allowed to return until they have no fever and no evidence of COVID-19 symptoms. *Follow guidelines on Taking Temperature

Wearing of a facemask is mandatory by all employees. The face mask must cover your nose and mouth.

All Employees and Customers MUST perform hand hygiene before entering the workplace. Hands must be washed under running water using liquid soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. A hand hygiene station must be placed at the entrance for the customers.

Food handlers DO NOT have the option of replacing hand washing with hand sanitizers. Food handlers MUST wash their hands under running water using liquid soap for a minimum of 20 seconds

Discourage customers from bringing pets into the restaurant, stores or waiting area

Food Hygiene Guidance

  • COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food.
  • Although it is very unlikely that coronavirus is transmitted through food, as a matter of good hygiene practice, everyone handling food should wash their hands often with liquid soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done as a matter of routine, before and after handling food, and especially after being in a public place, blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Food Service Establishments should follow the 5 Keys to Food Safety
  • Ensure that food reach the proper internal temperature prior to service, or cooling
  • Ensure that hot food are cooled rapidly for later use, check temperature of food being cooled in refrigerator or by raid cooling techniques such as ice baths and cooling wands
  • Proper training for food employees. All food handlers must receive training in food safety offered by Central Board of Health, and posses an approved food handler badge. Outside trainers must be approved by the Central Board of Health
  • If you donate food to charitable organisations, check with the local health department. (Central Board of Health)

Food preparation guidance is intended to ensure that staff follows good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of diseases to food. Key safety points include:

  • being fit for work
  • washing hands for at least 20 seconds with liquid soap and water
  • wearing aprons and clean clothing
  • avoiding touching eyes, nose, mouth
  • using gloves to avoid bare hand contact with food
  • covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and discard properly after use, then wash of hands.

Wash hands after:

  • Using the restroom
  • Touching hair, body or clothing
  • Changing task
  • Handling money
  • Using a cell phone
  • Taking out the garbage
  • Leaving preparation area
  • Handling chemicals
  • Handling raw meat, poultry or seafood
  • Sneezing, coughing, using handkerchief or tissue
  • Smoking, eating, drinking, chewing tobacco or gum
  • Removing dirty plates, cutleries, cuts from dining tables

Dining Area:

  • Containers holding condiments such as ketchup, mustard, sugar etc should be removed from the public access. Takeaway packets can be given upon request
  • Place marks on the seats and on the floor. These 6ft apart markers will serve to guide patrons to maintain a safe distance from one another when dining and making purchases.
  • Minimize crowding by limiting the number of patrons inside the food establishment by offering online ordering, calls or text message.
  • To minimize crowding in the dining room appointments services can be offered
  • Pickup or outside dining should be encouraged.
  • Discontinue the operation of Salad Bars, Buffets and Beverage Stations that require customers to use common utensils. This can be replaced by having this service provided by the employees
  • Tables can be surrounded by protective barriers, plexiglass or screens
  • Limit table to one server who deliver everything

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are highly touched, using your standard cleaning products. Food businesses can refer to Central Board of Health Facebook Page for a list of approved disinfectants.

Frequently disinfect surfaces repeatedly touched by employees or customers such as door knobs, equipment handles, check-out counters, tables, chairs and grocery cart handles, etc.

Frequently clean and disinfect the floor, walls, equipment and other facility area

Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces dishware, utensils, food preparation surfaces, and beverage equipment after use. Use 1 tablespoon (1 cap) of Clorox to 1 gallon of water. Do not mix chemicals!

Verify that your dish-washing machines are operating at the required wash and rinse temperatures and with the appropriate detergents and sanitizers.

Hot water can be used in placed of chemicals to sanitize equipment and utensils

Regular laundering of napkins and tablecloths

Plastic menus can be disinfected. Displaying the menu on boards is ideal.

Social distancing

The advice on social distancing measures applies to everyone. You need to minimise opportunities for the virus to spread by maintaining a distance of 2 metres between individuals. This advice applies to both inside the food business and in the external public areas where customers may need to queue. People should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds and more frequently than normal. Employer should provide hand sanitizers for customers throughout the establishment.

A few general indicators may be relevant to the majority of retail outlets:

  • use additional signage to ask customers not to enter the shop if they have symptoms
  • regulate entry so that the premises do not become overcrowded
  • Establish designated pick up zones for customers to facilitate physical distancing
  • use floor markings inside the commercial spaces to facilitate compliance with the social distancing advice of 2 metres, particularly in the most crowded areas, such as serving counters and cashiers
  • make regular announcements to remind customers to follow social distancing advice and clean their hands regularly
  • place plexi-glass barriers at counters if feasible, as an additional element of protection for workers and customers
  • encourage the use of contactless payments where possible, without disadvantaging older or vulnerable customers
  • provide additional pop-up hand washing stations or facilities if possible, providing soap, water and hand sanitizer
  • Discontinue self service operations, such as salad bars, buffets, and beverage service stations that require customers to use common utensils or dispensers. Have the employees off these services

Maintaining Social Distancing in Specific Food Business Settings Supermarkets

Supermarkets need to avoid crowding and create adequate spacing between individuals.

Effective measures to support this will vary by store and location but could include:

  • monitoring the number of customers within store and limiting access to avoid congestion
  • implementing queue management systems to limit crowds gathering at entrances and maintain the 2 metres distance
  • Have a hand hygiene station at the entrance of the supermarket.

Staff Lunch Room and Rest Areas

It is very unlikely that coronavirus is transmitted through food. Workplace canteens may remain open where there are no practical alternatives for staff to obtain food.

  • as far as reasonably possible, a distance of 2 metres should be maintained between users
  • staff can continue to use rest areas if they apply the same social distancing
  • notices promoting hand hygiene and social distancing should be placed visibly in these areas
  • if possible, increase the number of hand washing stations available

Outdoor Food Markets and Farmers Markets

The main concern with outdoor food markets is to avoid crowds gathering. Additionally, all vendors must have a temporary hand-wash station at their respective stalls. We encourage food market operators to consider how they can safely sell their products without encouraging crowds and ensure hygiene measures are in place. This can be done by:

  • taking orders online or by telephone in advance and pre-packing orders to limit face-to-face time in the market
  • considering delivery services if possible

Food Delivery Service

  • Practice social distancing when delivering food, e.g., offering “no touch” deliveries and sending text alerts or calling when deliveries have arrived.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold by storing in appropriate transport equipment/vessels.
  • Keep cold foods cold by keeping enough coolant materials, e.g., gel packs.
  • Keep hot foods hot by ensuring insulated cases are properly functioning.
  • Ensure that any wrapping and packaging used for food transport is done so that contamination of the food is prevented.
  • ·       Routinely clean and sanitize coolers and insulated bags used to deliver foods.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces within the vehicle by wiping down surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

STAFF

  • Valid food handlers badge
  • Clean, light coloured clothing
  • Hair restraint
  • No sleeveless top or pants/skirts above the ankle inside the kitchen
  • Clean short fingernails without polish
  • No false fingernails
  • No jewellery
  • Closed toed shoes ONLY!
  • Absolutely no eating, smoking or drinking while handling food
  • Absence of diarrhea & sore throat
  • No boil, open wounds on the skin & hands
  • No Jaundice, excessive sneezing & coughing
  • Cleared with a medical certificate to return to work after any food related illness

EQUIPMENT/UTENSILS

  • Stainless steel hand washing sink(s) in the preparation area
  • Stainless steel three compartment dishwashing sink of regular size
  • Stainless steel preparation sink for vegetables
  • Stainless steel preparation sink for meat
  • Utility sink
  • Preparation tables preferably stainless steel
  • Commercial chiller/fridge for thawing meat
  • Commercial refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Exhaust hood/vent/fan
  • Hot holding devices ( e.g. bain marie, hot box)
  • Easy to clean splash guard (placed behind stoves and fryers)
  • Color coded cutting boards
  • Lined foot pedal garbage receptacle
  • Calibrated thermometers
  • Serving utensils kept in separate containers while serving

BUILDING

  • Building should be so designed for use as a Food Establishment
  • Operational flow in the preparation area to prevent cross contamination and avoid impediments
  • Building should be pest proof. Place protective cover (gauze) over all windows and doors
  • Protective cover should be placed over all light bulbs in the preparation area
  • Floor should be made of an impervious, non skid material which is easy to clean; have smooth walls and a floor drain
  • Separate restroom facility with running water for staff and customers (separated by sex)
  • Changing room for staff
  • Area designated for staff personal effects
  • Infants, toddlers & children are not allowed inside the working area
  • Kitchen must be a complete separation from living quarters
  • Having electricity and pipe borne water supply is a must!
  • Have an emergency supply of potable water in the event the government supply is turned off or no longer available

DRY STORAGE

  • Store all food items 18″off the floor and away from the wall
  • There should be adequate lighting and ventilation
  • Practice First In First Out stock rotation in dry storage
  • Periodically check for best by/expiration date

PEST MANAGEMENT

  • There must be a pest free sanitary environment
  • Seal all gaps and gaping holes
  • Pets are not allowed in food service establishments
  • Contact a Licenced Pest Control Operator to handle all pests, rodents and vermin

WASTE MANAGEMENT

  • Garbage receptacle lined and snugly covered
  • Operate in a clean and sanitary environment
  • Daily collection of garbage
  • Approved disposal method of effluent from an onsite waste disposal system
  • A grease trap is a must!