Representing over 200 member companies, IFSA (the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance) and Chef Network, with its 3,500 strong membership, have combined their efforts to launch the IFSA & Chef Network Catering Business Covid-19 Operating Guidelines & Procedures document.

Drafted by an IFSA/Chef Network working group, with the assistance of The Food Safety Company, the comprehensive document has been created based on the best available national and international guidance. Its purpose is to deliver information on industry guidelines and protocols which may allow and help foodservice outlets to resume business.

“Shutting down our economy came as a huge shock to all businesses, but it’s become apparent that restarting our economy and preparing businesses for the ‘living with Covid’ phase is an even greater task that will take much consideration and planning,” adds Patrick Clement, IFSA Chair.

The sole aim of the document is to help, support and advise foodservice business operators on how best to plan for the re-opening of their business. Patrick Clement continues: “Representing businesses across the breadth of suppliers to the foodservice industry, IFSA collaborated with Chef Network to take a proactive stand for its members in creating a practical guide with step by step measures required under current health guidelines. We hope the document will be a great source of information in helping our members and their customers to re-open safely.”

The comprehensive 36-page document covers:
What to consider before re-opening a catering business
Health & Food Safety
Managing Employee Training
Managing Physical Social Distancing in the Dining Room & Kitchen
Contact tracing and Customer Register requirement
Managing Customers Confidences/Communications

The document recommends that all procedures should be implemented in tandem with the Government Return to Work Safely Protocols: www.gov.ie/en/publication/22829a-return-to-work-safely-protocol/

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As the 29th June draws closer, IFSA and Chef Network would encourage all food operators to download and review the document – which is available here: www.ifsa.eu.com/latest-news/ifsa-chef-network-catering-business-covid-19-operating-guidelines-procedures-published

To note, IFSA and Chef Network are supportive of calls for the reduction from 2 metres to 1 metre in relation to physical distancing, however the procedures and practices recommended in the guidelines fully comply with the current COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE.

Patrick Clement concludes: “This has been potentially the most difficult period in business for all us. As we start to return to the new normal, our hopes and best wishes are with all of those businesses in foodservice, catering and hospitality in the months ahead.”

For further information, please see www.IFSA.eu.com/latest-news or www.ChefNetwork.ie