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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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What action should be taken if a member of staff in a food business tests positive for the virus?

What action should be taken if a member of staff in a food business tests positive for the virus? – should we close the site? Should we deep clean?  What type of chemicals should be used? What risk assessment should be carried out in relation to food whilst deep cleaning is taking place - e.g. loose unwrapped food?

Current advice from Public Health England (PHE), in the form of ‘cleaning in non-healthcare settings’

can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

 

However, PHE are aware that this advice is not modelled on a food factory. As such, it may be subject to review.

 

In the meantime, please see useful advice from the BFFF Expert group:

 

Key facts on Covid-19 to be taken into account

 

  • Infection occurs from virus particles passed on through large droplets such as generated by normal talking, coughing or from a surface contaminated by such droplets.
  • There is no evidence of illness occurring by any method other than the virus entering the lungs
  • Survival is limited to a few hours on absorbent materials, but could be number of days on hard non-porous surfaces
  • There is no evidence of food consumption causing illness

 

Good practice

  • Desk and shared manual handling surfaces (eg phones, photocopiers, door handles) disinfected with alcohol based sanitising wipes or sprays daily or more often as preferred by staff
  • Hands washed on entry/exit to production areas and canteens, and after use of staff facilities
  • Good standards of hygiene maintained in factory
  • Enabling staff to maintain 2m isolation distance during their working day
  • Maximising the number of personnel that work from home

 

With those practices in place and good handwashing maintained by employees  specific attention may wish to be paid to the work area that a colleague has used if they fell ill during the day – otherwise the daily cleaning will deal with it.

 

As factory surfaces will be cleaned and sanitised at least daily then the virus should have been removed.

 

Therefore, as all good practices have already been completed, we would see no need for shutdown and further cleaning.  However, it may be that controlling authorities should be notified in case they require anything extra.