Takeaway and delivery food safety

Whether you are a restaurant, pub, coffee shop or home caterer, you may have decided to alter your business to offer a delivery or takeaway food service during the coronavirus outbreak. Offering delivery or takeaway food may mean your food safety procedures and controls need adapting. We have put together a short guide of food safety issues to consider. If you need any further advice please email us at environmental.health@trafford.gov.uk

There have been some major changes to the government's guidance issued to food premises offering food for takeaway. In summary:

  • No orders to be taken in person on the premises. You should put up a sign to let your customers know about this.
  • Orders should only be taken online or by telephone.
  • Give your customers staggered collection times, and discourage them from entering the premises until their order is ready.
  • Customers arriving without having already placed an order should be told to leave the premises, and to place their order by telephone or online. They can then return at a designated time for collection.
  • Customers whose orders are ready should enter one at a time to collect orders and make payments.
  • You should discourage crowding outside your premises. Where possible use queue management systems to maintain the advised 2 metres separation.

You can view our full guide to food safety issues to consider if you are thinking about offering delivery or takeaway food below. If you need any further advice please email us at environmental.health@trafford.gov.uk

You can view the government's full updated guidance on the GOV.UK website


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  • Always ask if the customer has an allergy. Increased phone and online orders may mean you forget. Make this the first question you ask!
  • Can you provide the allergen free food safely? Is your kitchen suitable/big enough to minimise cross contamination? If in doubt, do not offer allergen free meals
  • Make sure all allergen information is accurate and up to date, especially if you have altered your menu for take away service.
  • Ingredients/suppliers may change due to shortage of usual ingredients. Check the allergen information on ingredients and adjust your allergen matrix accordingly.
  • If you start offering a delivery service, can you keep any allergen free meals separate?
  • Further information about allergens can be found at the GOV.UK allergen guidance for food businesses webpage

Temperature control

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  • Do you have adequate procedures for keeping food hot or cold on site?
  • You may find you are holding food hot for longer (ensure that you are monitoring the temperature).
  • Ensure you have suitable equipment to keep food hot or cold on deliveries.
  • Further information on temperature control can be found on the food.gov.uk page on safer food

Change of menu

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  • Have you considered any change in risk due to offering a different menu? For example, are you pre preparing food in advance to reheat when ordered? Consider cooling and refrigeration requirements - do you have enough space? Can you change your menu to food which will keep for longer?
  • Closely monitoring use by dates. Business may be erratic - consider how you will minimise waste.
  • If you find yourselves handling more raw meat, please consider the GOV.UK guidance on E.coli cross-contamination

Change of customer

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  • Consider who you are preparing food for. Will your customers include vulnerable people (elderly, under 5’s or those whose immune system is compromised)? Think about the types of food which are safe for them.

Training/cleaning/personal hygiene

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  • Have you got a good supply of soap and hot water as well as materials for cleaning?
  • Ensure that all staff who are in work are well, and you have a system for ensuring those who are not, do not return to work too soon.

Further guidance

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Please contact us at environmental.health@trafford.gov.uk and we will be happy to offer you further advice.

Updated 26 March, 2020.