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COVID-19 Queries

Below you will find answers to a number of COVID-19 related questions recently posed to the BFFF.

The BFFF team are actively seeking information from both government and non-government sources to assist members with their queries and concerns so please bear with us whilst we attempt to get responses for you. Once available, questions and their responses will be uploaded into this area for all to view. Please ensure you check back regularly for any updates.

 

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We have a staff canteen. Can we still use it?

Where there are no practical alternatives, other workplace canteens can remain open to provide food for their staff and/or provide a space for breaks. However, where possible, staff should be encouraged to bring their own food, and distributors should move to takeaway. Measures should be taken to minimise the number of people in the canteen at any one given time, for example by using a rota.

What about those with Allergies?

At your businesses if you are concerned that altered staff eating arrangements may introduce allergens or there are not appropriate arrangements to store brought in food (including fridges), or be moving food for personal consumption around the premises in a way that was not being done then businesses may operate the canteen. Controls need to effectively manage potential hazards.  In a factory people eating away from the area previously designated for eating introduces hazards too.  So I advise that re-configuring the eating area by reducing tables & chairs to ensure 2m separation and if possible a partition between the catering side and the staff so that they are kept apart minimizing contact would be appropriate.  There would need to be a cleaning regime for the eating area and changes to work break arrangements to avoid queues and people crowding corridors.  Arrangements may have to be particular to the site and facilities.  However, the fundamental is that the arrangements do not undermine or frustrate the intention of the regulations and the prevention of contagion.  Communication to staff of what is required of them is also important.

This guidance is applicable to England. Whilst there has been a co-ordinated approach across the UK, businesses based in Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland should liaise with their regulator.