COVID-19 Advice for Food Businesses

Published on Monday, 23 March 2020 at 2:26:29 PM

The Town’s Environmental Health team is receiving regular updates from the WA Department of Health on the evolving nature of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus.

Please be aware the information in this fact sheet is relevant at the time of distribution, however for up to date information or further State Government directions, please visit Healthy WA or the WA Department of Health website.


On the 22 March 2020 – the Prime Minister of Australia made an announcement to introduce further restrictions on social gatherings as follow:

“National Cabinet agreed to move to more widespread restrictions on social gatherings. Premiers and Chief Ministers agreed to implement, through state and territory laws, new Stage 1 restrictions on social gatherings, to be reviewed on a monthly basis. Australians should expect these measures to be in place for at least 6 months.

The following facilities will be restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020:

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues 
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).”

Please note – this comes into effect as at 12noon the 23 March 2020.

This is in addition to the following directions:

  • No non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people outside or more than 100 people inside.
  • All non-essential indoor gatherings of less than 100 people must have no more than one person per 4sqm.
  • Where possible, keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Town’s Health Services.

Food handler hygiene

It is now, more than ever, critical that all food handlers at your premises engage in good hand hygiene practices. Food handlers must wash their hands, using liquid soap and drying with single use towel:

Before starting work

Before handling cooked or ready-to-eat food

After handling or preparing raw food

After handling waste

After cleaning duties

After using the bathroom/toilet

After blowing nose, sneezing, coughing or using a tissue

After smoking, eating or drinking

After handling money, before performing another task

After doing anything else that could make your hands dirty, like handling garbage, touching animals or children, or cleaning duties

Please see this link for more guidance on proper handwashing technique.

Health of food handlers

If food handlers are experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms, they should be staying home.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, flu-like symptoms, such as coughing, sore throat and headaches and difficulty breathing.

Food handlers must tell their supervisors (a log should be recorded), not handle food and should only return when a doctor says they are well enough (usually 48 hours after symptoms have stopped). Please note, this 48hour guidance does not apply to those in self isolation or quarantine.

Please see this link for further information on self-isolation and quarantine.

Further information on food handler hygiene requirements under the Food Standards Code can be found here

Cleaning and Sanitising

Ensure food contact equipment, such as kitchen benches, knives, chopping boards, pots, and meat slicers etc., as well as eating and drinking utensils, are in a clean and sanitary condition. For more information on cleaning and sanitising please see this link.

Additional cleaning and sanitising measures may include:

  • Making hand sanitiser available and visible on premises;
  • Regularly clean all frequent touch surfaces like door handles, bathrooms, etc; and
  • Carry out repeated and constant general cleaning and emptying of waste bins frequently.

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