COVID-19 Food Businesses, Aquatic Facilities & Lodging Houses

The City’s Environmental Health team is receiving regular updates from the WA Department of Health on the evolving nature of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We understand this is a difficult time for all and we want to support you as best we can in providing clear guidance and information with regards to the restrictions.

The information provided here is relevant at the time of distribution, however for up to date information or further State Government directions, please visit Healthy WA or the WA Department of Health website.

Alternatively, you can contact our Health Services Team on 9273 6000 or email mail@vincent.wa.gov.au.

Advice for Aquatic Facility Operators

I would like to reopen my aquatic facility

As restrictions begin to cautiously relax, some aquatic facilities are able to reopen. Float centres and apartments with a pool are able to reopen once they have had satisfactory water quality sample results. Please contact the City’s Health Services to arrange a time to take these samples. Pools are not allowed to reopen before these sample results have been returned.

What does this mean for Aquatic Facilities?

As you may be aware, following the Governments’ recent announcements on the easing of the cautious easing of restrictions around COVID-19 and the WA Roadmap, as at 18 May 2020, swimming pools may now open in a limited capacity. ‘Strata swimming pools’ and float tanks may also resume operation.   

This limited capacity requires that swimming pools are restricted to a maximum of 20 patrons per pool which is also subject to one person per 4 square metres.  

Please note - before these facilities can reopen for use, chemical and microbiological water sampling must be undertaken by the City and a satisfactory result returned.   

From the time of sample, results generally take 4 working days to return. Due to forecast high demand, delays may be experienced.   

Should you operate a swimming pool in the City and wish to reopen – please contact the City’s Health Services on 9273 6533. An appointment will be arranged with the first available Environmental Health Officer.  

What are the requirements for closed Aquatic Facilities?

Closed aquatic facilities must still meet the requirements of Section 5.5 of the Code of Practice for off-season periods to ensure:

  • Water clarity is maintained;
  • Algal growth is prevented;
  • Signage is displayed at all entry points to clearly communicate the facility is closed; and
  • That the aquatic facilities receives sufficient maintenance so they do not give off objectionable odours, become a breeding ground for insects or create a nuisance / safety hazard.

The City will not be undertaking routine water sampling for closed aquatic facility. Prior to re-opening, you must seek approval from the City’s Health Services. This will include a ‘start up sample’.

Resources

More Information

National Coronavirus Help Line - 1800 020 080 (24 hours/seven days a week)

Healthy WA – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

WA Department of Health – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Advice for Food Businesses

Mandatory COVID-19 Hygeine Course for Hospitality and Tourism Industry

The State Government recently announced a mandatory COVID-19 Hygiene Course for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.

The City of Vincent recommends all businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry make themselves familiar with this training requirement, and complete the course as soon as possible.

Changes to your food business

We acknowledge many food businesses would have to make change to accommodate COVID-19 health directives – in particular, moving to takeaway or home delivery operations. The City understand the need to make these adjustments and is able to provide direct advice, so please feel free to contact the City for guidance.

In some circumstances approvals from the City may be required (e.g. Planning, Building and Health). We will do our best to work with businesses to ensure the level of administrative burden is minimised, and are exploring options to provide support for local businesses.

Should you have any queries, please contact Health Services and speak to an Environmental Health Officer. An inspection may be required and your Food Act Certificate of Registration will be updated if approved. Please call Health Services on 9273 6000 or email mail@vincent.wa.gov.au

What does this mean for your restaurant or cafe?

The City’s number one priority is the health and wellbeing of the public, by fully supporting and implementing all health directives relating to COVID-19. We thank our local businesses for following the same approach.   

We are all part of delivering a COVID Safe Vincent!  

In order to provide some clarity, please note the following requirements:  

Food businesses previously closed by the Directions under the Emergency Management Act and planning to reopen or commence dine in service as of 18 May 2020 must complete a COVID Safety Plan before reopening and display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate in a visible location on the premises.  
Guidance material and a template for the COVID Safety Plan can be found here  
COVID Safety Plans are an important part of ensuring that re-opening businesses does not increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Failure to complete a COVID Safety Plan may mean your business is putting the community at risk. Please read the following information and ensure your Safety Plan is completed before reopening your business.  

In addition, all staff must complete the AHA Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 hygiene course before returning to work.  

The course covers: 

  • understanding COVID-19 and venue restrictions   
  • reporting personal health issues   
  • maintaining personal and work environment hygiene practices   
  • reducing cross contamination through procedures   
  • effective cleaning and sanitising practices. 

The City’s Environmental Health Officers are always available to assist with any queries or questions you may have in relation to the above. Please contact the City’s Health Services on 9273 6533 to be put in contact with your District EHO.  

Takeaway and home delivery

The City understands a number of you have transitioned to providing their menu for takeaway or delivery. Food safety during this time is still crucial - it is important that growth of food poisoning microorganisms is minimised. Remember you customers are your business and you need to keep them safe!

Temperature control

Consider your delivery area:

  • UberEats, Deliveroo, Menulog and the like restrict the delivery area so the food remains hot or cold upon service to the customer, which minimises the time out of temperature control to consumption by the customer.
  • If you are offering delivery by utilising your staff, then you should also restrict the delivery area so the travel time is no more than 15 minutes for a single order.
  • If your staff are delivering several orders so there may be an extended travel time for your last delivery, you will need to use cold storage such as eskies and ice bricks or insulated bags for hot food.
  • Cold foods must be stored below 5ºC and hot foods kept above 60ºC.

Protection from contamination

  • Packaging should be food grade and stored in clean sealed containers to prevent dust, dirt, foreign objects and pests from contaminating it.
  • Food should be delivered in sealed food grade containers or boxes in a clean bag.
  • The delivery vehicle should be in a clean and sanitary condition.
  • Keep cups should not be accepted.

Labelling

If you are manufacturing foods that are not ready-to-eat such as frozen or fresh meals or shelf stable items like preserves you will need to consider the labelling requirements under the Food Standards Code Chapter 1.2. To assist in interpretation please refer to the FSANZ User Guides.

Do I need to have a label?

The FSANZ User Guide Overview and Application of Food Labelling and Information Requirements can be used to assist in determining if a label is required. There are some exemptions that apply to ‘food for retail sale’ (refer to B3 on page 22 and the examples on pages 32 and 33 for determining when a label is required).

What might my label need to include?

Some things you need to consider including in your labels:

  • Name of food
  • Date marking (i.e. shelf life testing as determined by a NATA accredited laboratory)
  • Ingredient list include mandatory declarations (e.g. allergens)
  • Nutrition information
  • Name and business address (must be a physical address where the product is manufactured, not a postal address)
  • Lot identification

Food handler hygiene

It is now, more than ever, critical that all food handlers at your premises engage in good hand hygiene practices. Food handlers must wash their hands, using liquid soap and drying with single use towel:

Before Starting Work Before handling cooked or ready-to-eat food
After handling or preparing raw food After handling waste
After cleaning duties After using the bathroom/toilet
After blowing nose, sneezing, coughing or using a tissue After smoking, eating or drinking
After handling money, before performing another task After doing anything else that could make your hands dirty, like handling garbage, touching animals or children, or cleaning duties

Please see this link for more guidance on proper handwashing technique.

Health of food handlers

If food handlers are experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms, they should be staying home.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever; flu-like symptoms, such as coughing or sneezing; difficulty breathing; sore throat; fatigue.

Food handlers must tell their supervisors (a log should be recorded), not handle food and should only return when a doctor says they are well enough (usually 48 hours after symptoms have stopped). Please note, this 48hour guidance does not apply to those in self isolation or quarantine.

Please see this link for further information on self-isolation and quarantine.

Further information on food handler hygiene requirements under the Food Standards Code can be found here

Cleaning and Sanitising 

Ensure food contact equipment, such as kitchen benches, knives, chopping boards, pots, and meat slicers etc., as well as eating and drinking utensils, are in a clean and sanitary condition. For more information on cleaning and sanitising please see this link.

Additional cleaning and sanitising measures may include:

  • Making hand sanitiser available and visible on premises;
  • Sanitising seats, tables etc. after every use;
  • Regularly clean all frequent touch surfaces like door handles, bathrooms, etc; and
  • Carry out repeated and constant general cleaning and emptying of waste bins frequently.

Skills and Knowledge

We would encourage you to have all food handlers at your premises complete the FoodSafe online course and display their certificate to your patrons to see, as a demonstration of your commitment to ongoing food safety and handler hygiene.

Please find below the link to a free online food safety course. It is requested at the completion of the course, you provide the City a list of food handlers (full name) who have completed the course.

Course link - https://www.ehawa.org.au/events/category/foodsafe-online-43

Your Unique Code - FSVINCE353

General requirements

Just a friendly reminder that the business must comply with Food Standards Code Chapters 3.2.2 and 3.2.3. You can refer to Safe Food Australia for an explanation guide to these Standards.

FZANZ have released a handy fact sheet to assist food businesses in this challenging time.

More information

National Coronavirus Help Line - 1800 020 080 (24 hours/seven days a week)

WA Department of Health:

Advice for Lodging House Operators

Mandatory COVID-19 Hygeine Course for Hospitality and Tourism Industry

The State Government recently announced a mandatory COVID-19 Hygiene Course for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.

The City of Vincent recommends all businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry make themselves familiar with this training requirement, and complete the course as soon as possible.

Who needs to self-isolate?

If a person has been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, they must isolate for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.

All people returning from international travel on or after 12.00am 16 March 2020, must self-isolate for 14 days after the date of return to Australia.

All people travelling from interstate (domestic travel) on or after 1.30pm (AWST) Tuesday 24 March 2020 must self-isolate for 14 days after the date of return to Western Australia.

If a person is suspected of having COVID-19, they must isolate themselves until they have test results and have been advised they no longer need to isolate.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19

Coronavirus can cause a range of symptoms. Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Affected people may experience fever; flu like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and headaches; and/or difficulty breathing.

What does it mean for your lodging house?

Guests in isolation:

  • must stay in their room (they must be in an single occupancy room, cannot be a shared room). The only time they should leave the room is to seek medical attention.
  • must not use common facilities of the lodging house (such as kitchen, dining, lounge, laundry, gymnasium and outdoor areas).
  • must avoid contact with other lodgers and staff and not have visitors.
  • must practice good hand hygiene.
  • can have items delivered to them.

A fact sheet on self-isolation / quarantine can be found here.

How can you assist in prevention of spread of COVID-19?

Refer to the WA Department of Health’s website for COVID-19 information:

Hand hygiene products and suitable waste receptacles must be made available, with frequent cleaning and waste disposal taking place.

If available, supply hand sanitiser for guests to use in common areas.

Promote social distancing of 1.5m between persons in all shared spaces within your lodging house.

Monitor lodgers for signs of illness and refer them to a local GP/COVID-19 clinic as necessary.

Implement a thorough and frequent cleaning program with disinfectant surface sprays/sanitisers including all shared surfaces, cupboard and door handles, taps and rubbish bins (if they aren’t operated by a foot pedal).

Protection of staff

Staff should maintain a safe distance of 1.5m from all guests where possible and avoid shaking hands.

Cleaning staff:

  • should avoid close contact with guests who have self-isolated.
  • should wear gloves while cleaning, and use alcohol hand rub before and after wearing gloves
  • may wish to wear a surgical mask while cleaning the room.
  • may inquire if people are well, and ask them to put on a surgical mask.

Staff should declare to management if they feel unwell and go home or seek medical assistance as necessary.

Service of food

On the 23 March 2020, the Prime Minister of Australia announced further restrictions on social gatherings. The City has since received the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA) Directions for ‘affected premises’. In accordance with the Directions, from 23 March 2020 at 12 noon, all restaurants or café’s (as defined as ‘affected premises’) were ordered to close, other than to the extent that they provide takeaway meals or drinks or a meal delivery service.

The purpose and intent of the Direction is to prevent close contact between people so as to reduce the potential for transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

What this means:

  • If you have a restaurant or cafe associated with your lodging house, you can no longer provide patrons meals to ‘dine in’. They must be take away only.
  • Tables and chairs should not be set up for dining, as this would encourage congregation of people. This extends to outdoor dining areas also.

More information

Federal Department of Health:

WA Department of Health: