Name: Operating as a takeaway
Description: Operating as a takeaway

Operating as a takeaway

To support communities through the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government is allowing restaurants, café and pubs which do not currently offer delivery and hot food takeaway to do so.

This means a temporary change of use of a pub (classified in planning terms as use A4 - drinking establishment) and a restaurant (A3 - restaurants and cafes) to a hot-food take away for a period of up to 12 months.  Those venues offering takeaway or delivery services must not include alcoholic beverages if their licence does not already permit it.

Businesses are required to tell us, as the local planning authority, when the new use begins or ends.

To notify us of your change of use, or for any further information or advice, please contact

Food safety advice for takeaway businesses

To help ensure such activities are carried out safely, we recommend the following procedures are implemented

  • All food must be protected against contamination
  • High risk ready to eat foods must be kept covered using lidded containers, cellophane or aluminium foil tightly wrapped over the container or food.  Only use food grade disposable containers
  • Raw foods, if any (including raw meats, raw chicken, raw fish, raw unwashed vegetables and fruit) are to be completely segregated from ready to eat foods and stored and dispatched in separate containers
  • Vehicles used for deliveries must be maintained in good contain and kept clean
  • If packaged food are delivered in outer containers, insulated boxes or trays for example, these must be cleaned and disinfected between deliveries
  • Hot foods must be checked to ensure they reach safe temperatures on cooking or reheating (above 75°C) and be hot (above 63°C) at the time of dispatch.  Use a probe thermometer wiped with a probe wipe before for checking food temperatures. Such foods must be delivered in insulated containers to maintain temperatures and should reach the customer as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours
  • High risk cold foods must be below 8°C (ideally below 5°C) at time of despatch and should be delivered as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes but no longer than 2 hours. The use of insulated containers is STRONGLY recommended
  • Any returned outer transport containers must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to re-use
  • After each delivery staff must sanitise their hands on return to their vehicle and thoroughly wash their hands, for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water, immediately before starting each delivery journey and on return to the business premises
  • Staff must practice the highest standards of personal hygiene at all times
  • Staff should not enter customers' properties and should keep as far away from customers as is possible when handing over the food
  • If at all possible payment should be collected over the phone or via internet ordering. If this is not possible staff must sanitise their hands immediately after handling money
  • Cleaning and disinfection of food and hand contact surfaces, including the interior, exterior and handles of transport boxes/bags, must be carried out using a sanitiser/disinfectant tested to either BS EN 1276 and/or BS EN 13697 and for the contact time stated on the container. Use only disposable or single use cloths/paper towel for cleaning and disinfection activities in your food business


Allergens also need to be considered if food is sold at a distance (eg: internet sales or home delivery), the allergen information must be provided:

  • Before the purchase of the food is complete (this could be in writing or verbally)
  • In a written format when the food is delivered

Additional information on allergens can be found on the Food Standards Agency web site.

Infection control

Each business is responsible for ensuring that food handlers are fit for work under the food hygiene regulations. In addition businesses have a general duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of persons in your employment and members of the public.

Relevant staff must be provided with clear instructions on any infection control policy in place.

If you are making home deliveries, then you should have a system in place whereby customers can notify you that they are self-isolating and deliveries can be made safely without direct contact with the customer.

The government has issued guidance on COVID-19 for employees and businesses.

Last Updated: 05th May 2020