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Businesses and employers

Food delivery and takeaway advice

The following guidance has been designed to assist food businesses in carrying out safe food delivery and takeaways during the current coronavirus pandemic. It is your responsibility to follow and adhere to government guidance.

This is relevant to you if you:

  • Usually provide takeaways/food delivery or 
  • If you are looking to make provisions for a new takeaway/food delivery service that you wouldn’t normally provide. 

This guidance should be used alongside your Food Safety Management System.

As per government guidance, takeaway and food delivery facilities should remain open and operational. Those looking to start takeaway/food delivery as part of an existing food operation may do so . Planning regulations have been changed to allow for this.

Note - if you are looking into providing meals to the local community but are not already registered as a food business, you must register first. Email the Environmental Health team for further specific advice. 

Remember to regularly wash your hands with hot soapy water for 20 seconds and regularly sanitise surfaces and hand contact points.


Food delivery

Contact free delivery – when delivering to your customer you must adhere to the social distancing guidance of standing at least two metres apart. You can leave your delivery at the customer’s door, knock or ring door bell and then step back ensuring you are at least two metres away. You can then wait for the customer to collect the delivery.

Food takeaway

You need to consider:

  • The space where customers will purchase, wait for and collect their takeaway
  • How many people can fit in this area and adhere to social distancing guidance
  • If your waiting area is small, it may mean only one or two people can wait in this area at a time

You need to ensure:

  • That customers are two metres away from each other and two metres away from staff - mark the floor with tape to identify where customers should stand and provide clear signage reminding people of the minimum distance
  • If there are more customers than will fit in your waiting area then a queue should be formed outside (ensuring customers stand two metres apart). You can then operate a one in, one out system. You could also suggest that customers wait in their car until the food is ready to collect.

It is strongly recommended that you encourage customers to order in advance to minimise queuing and prevent customers congregating in or around the premises. Customers must not consume food or drink on your premises whilst waiting for their takeaway. Any tables and chairs for this purpose should be removed or made inaccessible.

Note – unless your licence already permits alcoholic beverages for takeaway/food delivery, then you must not include alcoholic beverages as an option.


Where possible, contactless payments should be used. If this is not possible then hands should be washed (hot, soapy water for 20 seconds) after handling cash. It is a good idea to regularly disinfect hand contact surfaces throughout the premises. See government guidance on social distancing for more information. 

Transporting food


food being delivered must be adequately covered and thus protected from sources of contamination. Vehicles used to transport food must be in good condition, kept clean and be free of contamination sources. If possible, avoid the driver entering the kitchen and ensure the driver adheres to social distancing guidelines. 

Temperature control 

food to be transported must be adequately packed to ensure the food maintains temperature and is protected from sources of contamination. For example, food should be covered and placed in a cool bag for chilled foods or insulated box for hot foods. 

Cooking food

Food must be cooked to a core temperature of 75degreesC and hot food held at 63degreesC or above until it is sent out for delivery. Hot held food should be monitored and temperature checked every two hours. Cold food must be 8degreesC or lower. Insulated bags and boxes should be cleaned and sanitised regularly throughout the day.

Fitness to work

Any staff showing symptoms of coronavirus must be sent home and must self-isolate as per government guidance. For sickness and diarrhoea the 48 hour exclusion should be followed. See government guidance for more information.


The following should be followed when delivering food:

  • Write the name of the food on the packaging 
  • Allergen information to be provided on delivery at the latest 
  • If meals require storing/cooking/defrosting/reheating then further information should be provided i.e. the date the food was made, how long its shelf life is (e.g. two days), cooking instructions and anything else that may be deemed useful/relevant.

Note – when taking orders it is recommended that you ask about allergen requirements. Read FSA guidance on allergens for more information. 

Any business operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closures) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence. See government guidance on business closures for more information.