A complete guide to updating your risk assessments now

Covid rules are  changing at a fast pace, sometimes daily, with local restrictions determined by the three-tier Covid alert levels and national lock downs.

With each update you will need to think how the changes affect your food business and if your risk assessment needs updating.

Starting from scratch

If you are starting writing your risk assessments from scratch see my blog Covid Risk Assessments explained and update FAQs on Covid Risk Assessments to get you started.

The information available can be confusing and difficult to  fully understand how it applies to your business and what you must do legally. As a food business operator, you have a duty to keep your staff, customers and visitors safe by putting in place measures to help stop the spread of the virus.

Free Risk Assessment Download

Download my Covid risk assessment template by signing up here  Risk Assessment Template. You can use this to create or update your Covid risk assessment for your food business. Only include controls which are relevant to your business and what you actually do. You can add additional controls if there is anything that you do differently.

Important! every business is different so a ‘copy and paste’ job won’t work here but the majority of controls will apply to most business and the template will just need some tweaking.

The Three Tier Covid Alert Levels

There are three covid alert levels: medium, high and very high. Include what alert level area your business is in on your risk assessment. Click on the links for detailed information of what restrictions are in place in each area. I have put together a  summary for each level highlighting what specifically applies to food businesses. Add or remove the relevant controls as follows:

What rules apply to my business if I am in a MEDIUM alert area?

  • The Rule of 6 applies for customers visiting your premises ( any social gatherings of more than 6 people is against the law unless in a work or education setting or people are part of a household or social bubble)
  • Businesses must be Covid secure
  • If alcohol is served on the premises you can only take orders and serve customers whilst they are seated. If not you can serve customers at a counter e.g. coffee, sandwich deli
  • Food business  must close between 10pm and 5am unless they are offering drive through, click and collect or a delivery service
  • All staff should wear a face covering if they are in a customer facing role. All customers should wear a face covering if they are seated unless they are exempt: Face covering exemptions

How do I update my risk assessment?

  • Update the  closing times of your business
  • Include that the rule of 6 applies when taking bookings
  • Include a control on how you serve your customers

What rules apply to my business if I am in a HIGH alert area?

In addition to the medium controls:

  • You should only take bookings from customers who are in the same household or bubble for those sitting inside.
  • For outside bookings the rule of 6 applies

How do I update my risk assessment?

  • Update your booking procedure and information on your website if necessary

What rules apply to my business if I am in a VERY HIGH alert area?

In addition to the high controls:

  • You can only remain open if you offer substantial meals
  • You should only take bookings from customers who are in the same household or bubble for those sitting inside AND outside

How do I update my risk assessment?

  • Update your booking procedure and information on your website if necessary

If you need support writing or updating your risk assessments please contact me to arrange an informal chat to discuss how I can help you https://www.foodsafetylogic.co.uk/contact-us/

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