8 things you need to do before reopening your business
AS THE NSW Government eases restrictions for a number of businesses, Lismore City Council said business owners should take care before reopening their doors.
The eased restrictions allows food-based businesses such as cafes and restaurants to recommence "modified operations".
This includes enabling them to seat 10 patrons at any one time, including indoor and outdoor dining.
To assist business owners in ensuring their business is operating safely, Food Standards Australia New Zealand has developed a voluntary checklist for food businesses who are preparing to recommence operations.
So what do business owners need to do?
1. Check your business can reopen
Before you re-open or recommence operations check for any changes to business restrictions in place in your state.
You must also check whether specific guidelines or requirements to recommence business apply in your local area.
2. Check staff availability, skills and knowledge, health and hygiene
Owners and managers must be aware of the signs of Covid-19 and make sure your staff do not show any symptoms.
Staff who are unwell should not be at work, and if staff develop symptoms at work such as fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath they should be immediately isolated and medical advice sought.
3. Check that the premises is suitable for preparing or handling food
Was your business premise or building closed or operating minimally during the Covid-19 restrictions?
If yes, make sure that nothing has happened during the closure or reduced operation that stops you from operating safely.
Check food, equipment and other surfaces have not become contaminated from issues such as maintenance activities, or leaks, increased pest activity or reduced use of the facility.
Make sure the services you need for power, water supply and drainage are working as intended.
4. Cleaning and sanitising
Areas used for food preparation and serving will need to be thoroughly cleaned, and food preparation surfaces and utensils cleaned and sanitised before use to ensure there is no risk to food safety
5. Food in refrigerators, cool rooms and freezers
Check whether fridges, cool rooms and freezers have been without power, as the safety of stored food may have been affected.
6. Sourcing new supplies
If you are restocking from suppliers that were not trading during the restrictions, check your supplier has taken the steps above.
7. Ensure local council inspections are up to date
Check when your next food safety inspection is due or whether you require an inspection before reopening or commencing a new process.
Please note that depending on the local council Covid-19 response policies, your inspection may need to be completed using technology, like Skype.
8. Stay up to date on Covid-19 and food safety
Check the FSANZ website for up-to-date information on Covid-19 and food safety.
The full checklist is available on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.
Lismore City Council reminds operators must continue to comply with existing requirements under the Food Standards Code, with particular vigilance on maintaining good hygiene practices.
The NSW Food Authority has also updated the Food Businesses and Covid-19 webpage which includes information on maintaining these standards.
For further information, contact Lismore City Council's senior public health officer Cameron Smith on 1300 878 387.