The food safety standard organisation, BRCGS, has issued new guidance to food manufacturers amid concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on food production.

According to the World Health Organisation, it is highly unlikely that people can contract the virus from food or food packaging, but the pandemic presents a range of challenges to manufacturers, including disruption to supply chains, staff absenteeism and an influx of new workers.

In its new paper, ‘Managing Food Safety during Covid-19,’ BRCGS spells out the steps manufacturers should take to maintain high standards of food safety and product integrity during the Covid-19 crisis, which includes establishing a team with responsibility for the Covid-19 response and the use of internal audits to maintain certification to food safety standards.

The guidance sets out measures designed to mitigate a range of potential risks, including those posed by taking on temporary workers and by ingredient substitution.

Mark Proctor, CEO of BRCGS, said: “The global food supply chain has held up very well despite the huge spike in demand for groceries and the disruption caused by social distancing measures in the workplace.

“The purpose of this guidance is to provide additional assurance to brands and manufacturers, safeguarding them against potential operational challenges.”

The guidance is available free of charge on the BRCGS website.