Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has published updated guidance for food business operators and their employees, which aims to assist them in following government guidance on infection prevention and control measures against COVID-19. It has been produced with input from the food industry and trade unions and reflects the most up to date advice from Scottish and UK Government and Health Protection Scotland.
The guidance reflects the country moving into Phases 2 and 3 of Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Framework for Decision Making (Scotland’s Route Map through and Out of the Crisis) and includes for example, exceptions to the 2m physical distancing rule that are now permitted for the retail sector (from 10 July 2020), and the hospitality sector (from 15 July 2020). This will allow food businesses in these sectors to move to 1m physical distancing, but only where additional risk mitigation measures are in place. It provides details of appropriate risk mitigation measures that should be applied by these businesses, including the new legal requirements which came into force from 10 July, which will require the wearing of face coverings in retail settings.
The guidance also emphasises the need to consider physical distancing and hygiene measures for employees in shared spaces including staff accommodation, transport facilities and communal areas such as canteens, rest rooms and smoking areas. Information is also included to support FBOs in understanding their role in Scotland’s Test and Protect Strategy.
FSS has also developed a risk assessment tool which will help food businesses plan to re-start as lockdown restrictions are relaxed and enable them to demonstrate that these are being maintained on an on-going basis to ensure their staff and customers are protected. A checklist is also available to support the risk assessment which summarises the key areas that need to be assessed when restarting your business and communication with staff.