Can restaurants deliver food to customers by private car?
Restaurants may use private cars in personal use to deliver food as long as this does not pose a risk to food safety. Food must be packed in clean storage containers or dishes for transport. When transporting food that must be cooled or heated during storage, a clean polystyrene container, cool box or similar means should be used to ensure correct food temperature during transport. It is also recommended to protect the storage containers and dishes during transport with a clean cover, such as a protective cloth, tarpaulin or similar.
Meal service deliveries
As before, meal service providers must ensure that customers receive the delivered meals without endangering food safety. Food hygiene and correct storage temperature must be ensured also during home deliveries of meals. When delivering meals, keep a social distance to the customer. See the Guide by occupational healthcare on how to avoid infection in customer service situations.
For example, when delivering a meal in a container to an able-bodied customer, the customer can pick up the contents of the container on their own. If necessary, meals can also be delivered in containers that keep the food at the correct temperature for long periods of time. If agreed separately with the customer, this type of container can be left outside the customer’s home. If the customer’s mobility is reduced, the meal delivery provider usually brings the meal to the customer’s kitchen. In this case, the guide by occupational healthcare must also be followed (see link to the guide above).
Do I need to file a food establishment notification before I can deliver food?
Restaurant owners and other food industry entrepreneurs can perform home deliveries of food to customers without the need to file a separate food establishment notification. Delivery of primary production products from the farm to sales or further processing by the primary producer is part of primary production activities.
In order to aid businesses during the ongoing epidemic, food delivery services can be provided by persons other than food industry entrepreneurs or primary producers without the need to file a food establishment notification or primary production notification. This exception to the requirement to file a notice on delivery services applies to the ongoing state of emergency currently set to last until 13 April 2020.
General requirements on food delivery are as follows:
- transport equipment and containers must be clean and capable of protecting the food from dirt.
- food must be carefully protected during transport. The protection may be a clean packaging container, or the food can be wrapped in clean plastic wrap suitable for the purpose or an equivalent material. Particular care should be taken to ensure hygiene and protection when handling non-prepacked food.
- food temperature must be regulated during transport
Food temperature regulation
- Food temperature during transport is regulated with refrigeration equipment or another manner, such as by transporting the food in a polystyrene container with a hot or cool gel padding, depending on whether the food is delivered hot or cold.
- Easily perishable food should be kept cold during transport (usually up to +6°C) or, when delivered hot, kept heated sufficiently high (at least +60°C).
- For more information on temperatures during transport and allowances, see Evira guideline 16025 (in Finnish) (sections 6 and 11 on pages 50 and 54-55).
A recording temperature monitoring system is not required in:
- deliveries of less than 2 hours, and
- deliveries in which food is transported from the food premises directly to end consumers (such as meal deliveries from a commercial kitchen to consumers or grocery deliveries from the store to consumers).