Retail News

FSA is Here to Help

Covid-19 has been an extremely challenging time for the food industry, but the sector has shown great resilience. With many businesses changing the way they trade to survive, it’s important to understand any food safety risks that might need to be dealt with. The Food Standards Agency has released new Here to Help guidance to help support Northern Ireland food businesses get back on their feet to trade safely and protect their customers.

Supporting food businesses 

Covid-19 has forced many established food businesses to diversify with some now offering food delivery, takeaway or online sales in order to continue operating. For food businesses changing their business model, it is important to understand the additional safety risks introduced by any changes. The Here to Help guide on the FSA website, provides practical advice for food businesses on registering, re-opening, and adapting safely to trade. It aims to help food businesses get back and stay on their feet following the challenges of Covid-19.

Maria Jennings, FSA director for Regulatory Compliance, People and Northern Ireland, said: “It remains important for businesses to understand the possibility of additional food safety risks as a result of the changes they have made, and the steps they must take to protect their customers. Here to Help aims to support businesses in getting this right to ensure consumers continue to have access to food that is safe to eat.”

Helping you make those changes

The Here to Help guidance includes the steps you need to take to address these risks, as well as:

  • how to communicate effectively with your customers
  • advice for food businesses who are offering a delivery service for the first time
  • reminders on delivering food safely, while ensuring it does not become unsafe or unfit to eat
  • important issues such as keeping food at the right temperature while being transported.

Here to Help also offers support to those who have started a food business from home during Covid-19 with a handy checklist for quick access to information.

Supporting the campaign is Colin Neill, chief executive at Hospitality Ulster: “The industry has been hit hard over the last few months and so I welcome the Here to Help guidance from the FSA. This will help ensure food businesses are informed of important developments, and that they have all the information they need to maintain and ensure good compliance.”

The FSA’s Here to Help campaign provides easy online access to practical information and resources including tailored guidance, case studies and industry insight to support food businesses – visit www.food.gov.uk/heretohelp

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