“Small food outlets in Bradford have faced abuse over remaining open during the coronavirus pandemic”

With most of the nation living under the government-imposed lockdown, Asian takeaway’s have been called upon to “up their game” and continue serving the people.

The government’s guidelines state food delivery and takeaways can remain operational during the coronavirus pandemic.

This covers the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises.

But amidst the chaos, a number of takeaway owners from Bradford have approached Asian Express saying they’re facing a barrage of abuse for not shutting down and self-isolating.

As COVID-19 approaches the fast growth part of the upward curve, the scare of spreading coronavirus or contracting are understandable. However, the risk of picking up the virus from supermarkets, the packaging their food comes in or through home deliveries is extremely low.

“It’s these very same takeaways that will bring food to your door when an entire household is self-isolating and on limited food supplies”

The NHS website’s coronavirus page says: “It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.” The key thing to remember is that the biggest risk of transmission is from person to person, which is why social distancing measures are vital in slowing the spread.

Viruses – unlike bacteria – do not survive well outside the body. The virus cannot replicate or produce more copies of itself on food.

Sajad Hussain of Adams Fast Food Supplies says: “In a time when unnecessary social interaction is discouraged, food delivery outlets play a pivotal role.

“We’ve been approached by many takeaway owners who reiterate a sense of confusion as to what the guidelines are in operating takeaways. Many have just had horrific abuse for remaining open. That’s terrible and it has to stop.

“At Adams we have implemented a policy across the whole group and have a dedicated Covid-19 Response Team to advise our customers.

“No matter what, even if we run at a loss – we will remain open. We are committed to supplying products the nation needs during this turbulent period.”

“If you take a look at Germany, Italy and Spain, they have become almost completely reliant on takeaways and delivery services to get food to them.

“UK is also headed that way. Just as food supplies are disrupted, demand is expected to increase.

“It’s these very same takeaways that will bring food to your door when an entire household is on limited food supplies or if your entire family is self-isolating.

“Instead of slamming these businesses, we need to support them. The ones who remain operational have already adapted their practices to reassure customers of hygiene standards.

“The important thing to remember is social distancing. When collecting wait outside if the outlet has two people inside. Pay contactless wherever possible. Deliveries could be left at people’s doors if already paid for by card.”

Guidance for food businesses can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk

What you need to know about coronavirus and food

• It is very unlikely that you can catch coronavirus from food.
• COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. It is not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging.
• The World Health Organisation advises that the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low. The risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also very low.
• While food packaging is not known to present a specific risk, efforts should be made to ensure it is cleaned and handled in line with usual food safety practices.
• Cleaning should be in line with food hygiene practice and the environmental controls set out in the business’ HACCP. Staff should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of working. No additional precautions need to be taken.
• Any food handler who is unwell should not be at work. If they have symptoms, they should follow government advice and stay at home.
• Although it is very unlikely that coronavirus is transmitted through food, as a matter of good hygiene practice anyone handling food should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done as a matter of routine, before and after handling food, and especially after being in a public place, blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.