Technical (COVID-19)

Members may find the following credible and robust sources of information on hygiene and food safety useful.   These will be reviewed and updated as further information becomes available.

There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission for COVID-19.

 

(Updated 20 May 2020)

The FSA has published guidance to assist food businesses in responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The new guidance has been developed with Defra and covers a range of areas including good hygiene practice, management of employee sickness, and social distancing for specific food business settings.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-food-businesses/guidance-for-food-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

New! – the FSA has published guidance on re-opening and adapting food businesses during Covid-19. This will give you a practical framework to identify what you need to do to continue, adapt, or restart operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the hygiene processes and requirements you must follow to safely operate your food business.

The FSA has published new guidance to help consumers understand more about COVID-19 and food. This can be found on: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-consumers-on-coronavirus-covid-19-and-food

The guidance covers a range of issues including food hygiene, food packaging and social distancing when shopping. There is also advice on storing food at home, to help people manage leftovers and avoid waste.

FSA advice is clear that it remains very unlikely that people can catch COVID-19 from food. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have established guidance in place on returning to work following illness. Although drafted with gastrointestinal illness in mind, the best practice advice would be applicable to other illness such as COVID-19. https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/fitnesstoworkguide.pdf

 

The NHS advice page confirms “It’s very unlikely [COVID-19] can be spread through things like packages or food.” https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

The Government’s Coronavirus advice page for all updates and information relating to Coronavirus. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Government has also published guidance for employers and businesses. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

Sector specific guidance on working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – including factories, plants and warehouses; labs and research facilities, offices and contact centres, restaurants offering takeaway or delivery https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have published guidance on how to protect employees during the Covid-19 outbreak https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm?utm_source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=coronavirus&utm_term=covid-2&utm_content=digest-26-mar-20

The HSE have also published additional guidance on Covid-19 topics such as social distancing in the work place.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/

https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/working-safely-during-coronavirus-outbreak.htm

Guide to working safely during the coronavirus outbreak – https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/working-safely-guide.pdf

Guide to talking to your workers about preventing coronavirus https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/talking-with-your-workers.pdf

 

European Food Standards Authority (EFSA)https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/news/coronavirus-no-evidence-food-source-or-transmission-route

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued precautionary recommendations including advice on following good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing hands, cooking meat thoroughly and avoiding potential cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked foods.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

The WHO have also published guidance on when and how to use masks which includes useful graphics

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

 

Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) has developed a Covid-19 Knowledge Hub

https://www.ifst.org/resources-policy/covid-19-knowledge-hub

This includes information on transmission as well as food safety and hygiene. https://www.ifst.org/resources-policy/current-affairs/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-ifst-updates/coronavirus-covid-19-ifst

 

Society of Food Hygiene and Technology    http://www.sofht.co.uk/

 

The BRCGS have developed a Covid-19 hub which brings together guidance on a range of Food Safety Management topics, as well as technical and compliance information.

https://www.brcgs.com/resources/covid-19-response/

New! Updated BRC072: BRCGS Audits impacted by Covid-19. BRCGS have updated their position statement on audits impacted by Covid-19 to include reference to BRCGS fees, an optional uptake of unannounced audits, clarification of certificate audit due dates, and removal of ‘12 months certificate issued on reaudit’.

https://www.wsta.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/brc072-brcgs-audits-impacted-by-covid-19-v4-14052020.pdf

The BRCGS have published revised guidance for sites affected by Covid-19 which takes account of the GSFI position on remote audits. https://www.brcgs.com/about/news/2020/brcgs-announces-revised-guidance-for-sites-affected-by-covid-19/

https://www.wsta.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2532020-update-brc072-brcgs-audits-impacted-by-covid-19-v3.pdf

BRCGS – Guidance document on Managing Food Safety during Covid-19 https://www.wsta.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BRCGS-food-safety-covid-19-guideline-unlocked.pdf

BRCGS – 15-point checklist for food manufacturing sites https://www.wsta.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/15-point-manufacturer-checkllist.pdf

BRCGS have announced charging for extensions and also there are now 3 different assurance products that can be carried out individually or combined with the simple certificate extension process.

https://www.wsta.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/BRCGS-Covid-19-New-Products.pdf

 

Campden BRI are still open for business to assist clients in these difficult times either with analysis, regulatory advice or technical assistance. For further information:

https://www.campdenbri.co.uk/news/open-for-business.php