Running your food business and accounting amid the COVID-19 pandemic can be a challenge. It can quickly become overwhelming and confusing for any food business that does not adapt to the change.
As the government sets new guidelines amid the rising active cases plaguing the world, there needs to be proactive measures and large-scale adjustments. Food businesses are rising to this challenge. They may only be allowed to operate at a limited capacity, but they are driven to make sure that they can do their part not to spread the disease.
Understanding COVID-19 guidelines within the frame of a reopening food business should be your top priority. Here is a checklist of COVID-19-related safety protocols that are highly recommended to follow. The safety and enjoyment of the customer with your food business is your primary obligation as a food business owner.
Revisiting Your Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan
At the core of reopening your food business amid the pandemic is revisiting and updating your HACCP plan. It refers to the food safety protocols and management that keeps your business clean and efficient. Customers are now more inclined to look into this before visiting your food business because of the pandemic. So, you need to do your part as a food business owner to reconfigure your HACCP plan. Consider this checklist.
- If your food business is permitted to operate and host dine-in customers, look into the base guidelines set by your local authorities (e.g., physical distancing-friendly dine-in areas, “no mask, no entry” policy, etc.).
- Before reopening your food business, disinfect your space and clean regularly. That also includes your kitchen equipment or food pantry where the virus may linger.
- Have a wash area open and ready for your customers. A disinfecting floor mat for their shoes at the front of the store is also a great addition.
- Have your employees tested for COVID-19 and make sure that they stay home if they feel sick. Customers being greeted by sick employees is a huge turn-off now.
- Require all your employees to wear a face mask and wash their hands every now and then. It is also ideal if you can provide them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) or disposable safety gloves.
- Train your employees in doing routinary checks and in the proper disinfecting of your food business daily.
- Check and review the timely protocols set by your local government on COVID-19 directly related to food businesses.
- Ventilation is a crucial system in avoiding the spread of the virus. Look into the appropriate measures for your food business’s ventilation system.
- For delivery and other inquiries, consider having a dedicated chatbot on your food business’s Facebook page or website. In this way, you can lessen the volume of customers coming into the food business with simple inquiries.
Conducting Routinary checks
Routine checks in your food business are now more frequent as the safety of your employees and customers is highly crucial. The timely checks among your facility, equipment, and employees can lessen the risk of contracting COVID-19. Look into this checklist of related routinary checks:
- Clean your facility hourly or every two hours from opening to closing time, especially areas with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure. It includes the kitchen, dine-in areas, and washroom facilities.
- Enforce temperature checks on your customers before they enter your food business so that sickly customers can be kept away from the inside.
- Wipe down and clean equipment that is usually handled by most employees, such as the telephone or the stove.
- Employees should be healthy and have a strong immune system to combat COVID-19. Have a local clinic routinely check them.
- Check with other food businesses and your local government authorities on their recommendations for routinary checks.
COVID-19 doesn’t have to stop the operations of your food business. As long as the government and health personnel recommend it, you can take in customers again. You just need to keep yourself informed and be open to the changes this pandemic calls for.
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