COVID-19: guidance for food businesses

Advice for food businesses in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the UK.

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For information please refer to the Working safely during COVID-19 guidance



This guidance is intended for all workplaces involved in the manufacturing, processing, warehousing, picking, packaging, retailing and service of food.

This also includes important information about the risk of community dissemination of coronavirus (COVID-19) from circumstances or activities related to the workplace such as transportation and accommodation arrangements.

This guidance may be updated in line with the changing situation.

Please note

This guidance is of general nature and is intended to be compatible with the relevant health and safety legislation, please note that if there appears to be a conflict between this guidance and the relevant health and safety legislation, the latter shall prevail.

Published 25 March 2020
Last updated 21 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added text confirming that guidelines including social distancing requirements are still in place after 17 May.

  2. Updated in line with Step 2 changes, allowing hospitality businesses to serve food outdoors. Added information on ventilation and asymptomatic testing programmes.

  3. Updated guidance in line with national lockdown and updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.

  4. Updated self-isolation period to 10 days.

  5. Updated guidance in line with national restrictions commencing 5 November 2020.

  6. Updated to include businesses closing at 10pm, collecting NHS Test and Trace information and working from home.

  7. Updated easy-to-translate version to reflect the extension of self-isolation to 10 days.

  8. Revised language in relation to self-isolation.

  9. Updated guidance, added easy-to-translate guide and link to posters.

  10. Updated guidance to include new section on prevention of infection and revised section on management of outbreaks including contact details for health protection teams.

  11. Updated information on symptoms.

  12. Added clarification on guidance and legislation.

  13. Updated the guidance under the 'Takeaways and restaurants offering a pick-up service' heading.

  14. First published.