Coronavirus (COVID-19) Welsh Government Guidance for Food Manufacturing Businesses
The Environmental Health, Commercial Team in Powys County Council would like to bring to your attention (if not already seen) the below guidance specific for any food manufacturing businesses in Wales.
Welsh Government with Food Innovation Wales launched in May, Food Innovation Wales Helpline http://foodinnovation.wales/food-innovation-wales-helpline/ - open 7 days a week to all food and drink businesses.
In this time of increased stress on the food supply chain, Food Innovation Wales has opened a Helpline in each of its geographical areas. For food safety, technical or supply chain continuity (e.g. raw material suppliers), please contact the following numbers:
South Wales -Zero2Five Food Industry Centre @ Cardiff Metropolitan University:
Rhiannon Richards: 07468 752237 - RBfaceyfirstname.lastname@example.org
David Lloyd: 07770 825069 - email@example.com
Martin Sutherland: 07770 701660 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mid Wales -Food Centre Wales, Ceredigion County Council
Arwyn Davies: 07970 304701 - email@example.com
Angela Sawyer: 07855 253296 - firstname.lastname@example.org
North Wales -Food Technology Centre @ Grŵp Llandrillo Menaii
Paul Roberts: 07810 647432 - email@example.com
Anne-Marie Flinn: 07519 363187 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Welsh Government with Food Innovation Wales launched in May, COVID-19 Considerations for Good Manufacturing Practice in the Welsh Food and Drink Processing Sector http://foodinnovation.wales/wp-content/uploads/FIW-CVGMP-160620.pdf
Welsh Government with Food Innovation Wales launched in May, COVID-19 Tool Kit http://foodinnovation.wales/covid-19-considerations-for-good-manufacturing-practice-in-the-welsh-food-and-drink-processing-sector/
This supports business at this time by completing a remote, independent operational review of your COVID-19 systems and protocols. Please contact the relevant technical representative at the appropriate regional Food Centre for further support.
Background Information - Covid-19
Scientific data on the Covid-19 strain and the food sector is very limited on a global basis. However, work has been undertaken to alter Coronavirus strains (e.g. SARS Cov-2). This has formed the basis for much of the scientific conversation relating to the food sector.
- It is commonly agreed that food does not support and sustain the development of the virus.
- The virus would appear to survive longer on smooth surfaces.
- Coronavirus strains survive at low temperatures.
- Some scientific papers indicate that Coronavirus strains loses infectivity at circa 58°C.
- Detergent and disinfectant treatment of surfaces reduce Coronaviruses survival (especially detergent as it interacts with the lipid layer, on outer area of the virus).
- The main vectors for spreading the disease are humans.
- Close proximity to infected individuals is another key factor in the spread of the disease.
- Besides coughing and sneezing, scientific opinion indicates breathing heavily after strenuous work, shouting (due to noisy environments) and singing, may contribute to increased opportunities for virus to spread.
- The efficiency of masks as part of personal protective equipment is a debate, with arguments both for and against.
Positive actions to reduce potential spread:
- These are just examples of factors to consider. For a fuller view of controls, please visit http://foodinnovation.wales Industry
- Analyse process flows to identify "hot spots" where people congregate/cross either in entry/exit to site or as part of working day (e.g moving packaging, waste or products). Re-design flows to minimise or eliminate these cross over paths.
- Make mask usage compulsory.
- Focus on areas that may have been viewed as secondary to process flows (e.g. smoking cabins and offices, along with service areas such as toilets, changing rooms and canteens).
- Ensure beard snoods are single use.
- Consider (in conjunction with government officials) the need to test all staff with antigen test either weekly or monthly i.e. if positive, release staff. (companies with over 100 staff?)
- Make using masks in "high risk" i.e. risk related to Covid spread not high-risk food products High risk related to density of staff in certain areas.
- Develop a crisis management protocol in conjunction with WG/FIW to minimise plant closure time and subsequent job losses e.g. positive release the process site after deep clean and 3 day closure period and positive release staff through antigen testing with results within 24 hours.