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New DGS Food and Beverage Guidelines

The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) today released a new guidance document for the reopening of food and beverage establishments which, due to their characteristics, can be places of transmission of infection by Covid-19, either by direct contact and / or indirect. Therefore, DGS reports some additional measures that must be taken to ensure that the transmission of the disease is minimized in these contexts.

Here are the measures, in full, to be adopted in food and beverage establishments:

“ Companies

1. Establishments must ensure that all persons who work there and who attend are aware of compliance with the rules, correct hand washing (Appendix I), respiratory label (Appendix II), as well as other hygiene measures personal and environmental. The importance of:

The. Develop and / or update its own specific Contingency Plan for Covid-19, in accordance with Guideline 006/2020 “Procedures for prevention, control and surveillance in companies”, from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) [1];

B. Provide all employees with the Contingency Plan and ensure that they are able to put into practice all the recommended measures, informing them especially about how to recognize and act before a client or employee with suspected COVID-19;

ç. Reduce the maximum capacity of the establishment (interior, including balcony, and terrace), in order to ensure the recommended physical distance (2 meters) between people on the premises and ensure compliance with the legislation in force. The maximum capacity of people / service of the establishment must be affixed to a specific document, visible to the public;

d. Privileging the use of spaces for customers in outdoor areas, such as terraces (whenever possible) and take-away service;

and. Arrange, whenever possible, chairs and tables in order to guarantee a distance of at least 2 meters between people (Annex III):

i. The diagonal arrangement of seats can facilitate the maintenance of the safety distance;

ii. Cohabitants can sit face to face or side by side at a distance of less than 2 meters.

f. Prevent customers from changing the orientation of tables and chairs, allowing employees to do so, always within the considerations of the previous point (point e);

g. Predict all the circumstances that may occur in the establishment, in order to promote the adequate distance between people, for example (Annex IV):

i. Whenever possible and applicable, promote and encourage prior scheduling for customers to reserve seats;

ii. Standing spaces, due to the difficulty of guaranteeing the distance between people, are discouraged, as are self-service operations, namely buffets and food dispensers that involve contact by the customer [2];

iii. When ordering / paying at the counter, if a queue can be formed, customers should be encouraged to maintain a distance of at least 2 meters, which can be achieved by signaling the place where they must wait your turn [3];

iv. The waiting line in the space outside the establishment must guarantee the conditions of distance, security. This can be achieved through appropriate signage or information.

v. The circulation of people to the sanitary facilities, which must occur in circuits where it is possible to maintain the adequate distance between the people who circulate and those who are seated at the tables.

H. Provide alcohol-based solution dispensers located near the entrance to the establishment and in other convenient locations, associated with encouraging and explanatory information (Annex I);

i. Ensure that the sanitary facilities of customers and employees make it possible to wash hands with soap and water and dry hands with single-use paper towels. The taps should be, whenever possible, automatic. The use of dryers that produce air jets is not recommended. Whenever possible, washbasins should be accessible without the need to manipulate doors;

j. Ensure an adequate cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, according to Guideline 014/2020 “Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces in public service establishments or similar”, of DGS [4]. Cleaning and disinfection protocols should be strengthened, including:

i. Disinfect at least six times a day, using suitable detergents, all areas of frequent contact (for example, door handles, washbasin taps, tables, benches, chairs, handrails, etc.);

ii. Disinfect critical equipment (such as automatic payment terminals and individual menus) after each use;

iii. Sanitize sanitary facilities at least three times a day with a product containing detergent and disinfectant (2 in 1);

iv. Change towels and clean tables with recommended products for each customer. k. Remove the decorative motifs on the tables;

l. Replace individual menus with menus that do not need to be handled by customers (for example, handwritten or digital plates) or adopt individual single-use menus (for example, sealed or printed on disposable tablecloths) or plasticized and disinfected menus after each use;

m. Ensure good ventilation and frequent renewal of air in the restaurant areas, for example by opening doors and windows. If air conditioning is used, it must be done in extraction mode and never in air recirculation mode. The equipment must be properly maintained (disinfection by certified method).

n. Ensure compliance with the measures provided for in the HACCP.

Collaborators

  1. Employees of food and beverage establishments must:
  1. Know the measures contained in the Contingency Plan and know how to act in the face of a suspected Covid-19 case;

B. Comply with safety recommendations and report to the company or the competent entities situations of non-compliance with the implemented measures that may condition a danger to Public Health;

ç. Comply with the hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette measures recommended by the Directorate-General for Health;

d. Sanitize hands between each client;

and. Use a mask correctly, during the entire work period in a space with multiple people, respecting the hygiene and safety conditions during its placement, use and removal. Contemplate the need to replace the mask, adopting good usage practices. The use of a mask does not replace other preventive measures, such as the recommended physical distance, which must be maintained [5,6];

f. Ensure that the arrangement of tables and chairs in the establishment allows a distance of at least 2 meters between all people;

g. Keep, whenever possible, a distance of 2 meters from customers and other employees;

H. Place the plates, glasses, cutlery and other utensils on the tables in the presence of the customer who is going to use them, and their hygiene and packaging must be ensured;

i. The dishes used by customers must be washed in the washing machine with detergent, at an elevated temperature (80-90ºC) [7];

j. Regarding the use of disposable gloves, the employee must know:

i. The use of gloves to prepare and handle food is not a substitute for adequate and frequent hand hygiene;

ii. Employees must not come into contact with exposed and ready to eat food with their own hands and must use appropriate utensils, such as napkins, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves or dispensing equipment [8];

iii. They should not move the gloves from a dirty area to a clean area. Before this passage happens, the gloves must be replaced;

iv. The same pair of gloves can only be used for one task and must be replaced if damaged or if the employee interrupts the task. If an employee is performing the same task continuously, the gloves must be replaced every four hours or whenever necessary [9].

  1. Employees who develop signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should not be present at the workplace, and should contact the SNS24 Line (808 24 24 24) or other telephone lines created specifically for this purpose, and proceed in accordance with the indications provided.
  2. Employees who develop signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 during their work shift should be considered a Suspicious Case and be sent to the isolation area, in accordance with the Contingency Plan.

Customers

1. In order to contribute to limiting the transmission of COVID-19, all customers must ensure the following measures:

The. Hand wash with alcohol-based solution or with soap and water at the entrance and exit of the establishment (before the meal, hand washing with soap and water should be privileged);

B. Respect the distance between people of at least 2 meters (except cohabitants); ç. Comply with respiratory etiquette measures;

d. Consider the use of a mask in take-away services that are installed inside establishments, always using it appropriately in accordance with the recommendations of the DGS;

and. Avoid touching unnecessary surfaces and objects;

f. Give preference to payment by means that do not imply physical contact between the employee and the customer (for example, contactless automatic payment terminal);

2. If you show signs or symptoms of COVID-19 you should not go to public spaces.”

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