As part of their #UnitedWeStand campaign, proudly supported by Unilever Food Solutions, The Morning Advertiser and Julia Wilson, technical director of food hygiene consultant Food Alert, provide guidance to help ensure you’re ready to re-open at a moment’s notice.

It starts with closing your pub down effectively and then carrying out simple, regular maintenance checks. All putting you in a great position to reopen safely when government restrictions are lifted.

1.     Water supply

1. Water supply

  • Turn off hot water to save money and help prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria.
  • Continue weekly water checks.
  • Flush taps through weekly.

2.     Pest management

2. Pest management

  • As we head into the warmer summer months, flies can be real pests if left unchecked, so we advise electric fly killers are left switched on.
  • Plug your sinks to prevent flies from breeding and clean U-bends out.
  • Many venues have dried goods left on site that could attract pests – ensure these are stored in locations where pests are less likely to access them and store open goods in re-sealable pest-proof containers.
  • Leave bait boxes in place and carry out any recommended prest proofing works to prevent pest entry.

3.     Bar hygiene

3. Bar hygiene

  • You will probably have cleaned down your bar dispensers, bottles and bar surfaces on closure, but make sure your optics are covered and aren’t sticky because any residue might attract fruit flies.
  • Remove spirits from bars and make sure the lids are firmly on to prevent alcohol loss.

4. General Hygiene

4. General Hygiene

  • Dishwashers – they should be empty and washer arms dismantled to remove risks of stagnant water.
  • Fridges – these will have been emptied, cleaned and switched off, but have the doors been left ajar?
  • Cleaning – continue to clean and sanitise all surfaces and areas during closure to ensure your site is ready to open without delay.
  • Check ‘best before’ dates – make sure any foods remaining on site, especially dried goods, have been correctly labelled with original manufacturer usage instructions and clearly show the ‘best before’ date.

5.     Maintaining records

5. Maintaining records

In addition to preserving a record of when your premises closed and the date of closure, maintaining your records for when the local authority office calls is advisable during this period, for example:

  • Check and record freezer temperatures if these contain foods.
  • Pest checks – make a note of checks carried out.
  • Water maintenance – note when you flush the system through.

6.     Review food health and safety procedures

6. Review food health and safety procedures

During our ‘normal’ working lives, there is little available time to stop, think and do, so where possible use this time to:

  • Undertake those jobs that you have been putting off.
  • Update food safety, H&S policies and risk assessments.
  • Review your allergy information and processes.
  • Complete online training courses.

Taken from the #UnitedWeStand campaign, an editorial initiative from leading industry media titles BigHospitalityRestaurant Magazine and The Morning Advertiser and supported by experts and key figures from the industry. The campaign will educate and support the sector on advice, insights and breaking news to help navigate the Coronavirus crisis. Click here to view the full article on The Morning Advertiser. Always seek expert advice if needed.