Advice to hotels, restaurants and catering (HoReCa) establishments on hygiene measures prior to re-opening.
Hotels, restaurants and catering (HoReCa) businesses have been some of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 global pandemic. Many have been forced to close and now await further advice on when and how they should re-open. When they eventually do so there will be many things to consider, including how to ensure that their ‘mothballed’ facilities are safe and hygienic to operate prior to re-opening.
Why decontaminate before re-opening?
However diligent you were before closing a HoReCa facility, i.e., cleaning and disinfection of equipment and surfaces; establishment of appropriate pest management programs; removal of perishable foods, ingredients, and waste; etc., maintaining good hygiene during a period of shut down will still be a challenge.
Legally you have a responsibility to ensure that the hygiene of your building, products and services does not present a risk to safety. Equally, with regard to the provision of food and drink, you have a responsibility to ensure food safety and hygiene. European Regulation (EC) No’s 178/2002 and 852/2004 relate to food safety and hygiene, and No. 1169/2011 relates to allergen control. All state that it is an offence to sell food that is unfit/unsafe for human consumption. Food may be unfit for consumption if it is contaminated with pathogens, undeclared allergens and foreign bodies (including pests). Minimizing the food safety risks from these hazards should already form part of your Food Safety Management System (FSMS). Additionally, UK Government advice in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, states that ‘You should carry out a thorough clean of your food premises and equipment before re-starting operations.’ (https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/adapting-restaurants-and-food-businesses-for-takeaway-and-food-delivery-during-covid-19).