The latest advice for food businesses

26 March 2020

Whilst restaurants and cafes remain closed to help enforce social distancing regulations, they are still able to provide a takeaway service. 

The Government has released extra guidance during this period that it is very unlikely that you can catch Coronavirus from food. 

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. It is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging. If anyone is working in a food preparation area (or is delivering food) and is unwell they should not be at work. If they have symptoms, they should follow government advice and stay at home. 

The Government advice emphasises that it is very unlikely that Coronavirus is transmitted through food, as a matter of good hygiene practice anyone handling food should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done as a matter of routine, before and after handling food, and especially after being in a public place, blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. 

Objects and surfaces that are touched regularly should be cleaned and disinfected frequently using standard cleaning products. 

The World Health Organisation advises that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low. The risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also very low. Food packaging is not known to present a specific risk, efforts should be made to ensure it is cleaned and handled in line with usual food safety practices. 

Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member, Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “Food businesses trading in Cheshire West and Chester during these difficult times will continue to be supported by officers in our Food Team. 

“Please can all food businesses make sure they read the specific guidance from the Government.”  The Council’s Food Team can be contacted via email: or call: 01244 973708 for further advice.

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