Health and Safety

Bellow is a general guideline for heath and safety requirements for street trading it is a general guide so please ensure you contact your local council for further advice and guidance. 

Food Safety Prerequisites to trade at a Local Market

1. If you sell food you need to have registered your business with the U.K. Local Authority where your stall is normally kept overnight. You are strongly advised to have at your stall a copy of the last inspection report from your registering Authority (or from another Authority if a more recent full inspection was made). If such a report is available, is less than 1 year old and confirms broad compliance, it is likely that any inspection made by a Local food officer will be brief.

2. You are required by law to properly implement a documented food safety management system (Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004, Article 5). In order to trade in any local area you will need to produce adequate documents and records. An exception to this is where food safety risks are very small indeed, such as the sale of fruit or unfilled bread only. Your documents will either be:
+ Produced by you 
+ Produced on your behalf by a consultant 
+ Produced by you from a recognised model such as “Safer 
Food – Better Business” (it is accepted that the SFBB pack for retailers isn’t ideal for market traders but it can be a suitable basis for your own system if used thoughtfully). 

3. The person operating the system to comply with Article 5 must be able to demonstrate they have adequate knowledge of how to do so. If you are in any doubt about your ability to operate a HACCP based system, “Level 3” food hygiene training is recommended.

4. It is useful for food handlers to have Level 2 certificates in food hygiene but legal compliance will be judged on the level of food hygiene ability demonstrated by the food handlers at the time of any inspection.

5. Gas or plug-in refrigerators are normally necessary to maintain cold temperatures in the summer. If insulated containers are relied upon they will need to be of high insulation efficiency (as defined by British Standard). All cold storage units must maintain foods below 8°C, and preferably below 5°C. Foods on display may take advantage of the relevant tolerance period. If this tolerance is used the method of control must be fully documented as part of Article 5 compliance. (You are advised to consider how long your customers may take to get the foods home in warm temperatures – it pays to be able to prove minimal temperature abuse at your own market stall.)

6. If your foods need refrigeration you must have at least one thermometer with which to monitor storage temperatures. If you thaw and/or cook foods the need for probe thermometers etc. will depend upon your own documented Article 5 procedures.

7. The law requires washing and drying facilities for hands. Alternative hand hygiene methods will not be accepted. Gloves may be suitable for some tasks but there is still a need to wash hands. Food handlers must regularly wash their hands thoroughly with hot soapy water. You will therefore need to plan how you will meet this requirement so that you do not run out of hot water etc.

8. Manufactured products containing food of animal origin will need to have a ‘health mark’. Normally the health mark looks similar to the label below, but it may be a little different from approved premises outside the EC (third country approvals).

UK XX 001 EC

Products of animal origin that should have, but do not have, a genuine health mark will need to be seized for destruction if not voluntarily destroyed under supervision.

Further Advice

In all kitchen areas, food preparation areas, bars, food serveries, mobile vans and stalls, the floor must be level, clean and washable and, where possible, non-slip.

The internal structure of the kitchens, food preparation rooms, food serveries, mobile vans and stalls must be washable. If food is to be prepared next to tent style walls, the walls must be capable of being cleaned easily.

Washing up Facilities
Sinks are required for washing up equipment for food preparation. They should be supplied with controllable hot and cold water. These sinks must be large enough to wash up your large pieces of equipment. All exterior wash up sinks must be protected from the weather.

Separate food preparation sinks may be needed in addition to wash up sinks. If this is not practicable, large clean plastic bowls must be provided for washing food. Tea towels for drying items must be clean and changed regularly.

Hand Washing
A separate basin must be conveniently accessible with a controllable supply of hot and cold water, soap, towels and nail brush. Disposal paper towels are recommended and a suitable lidded (pedal operated) refuse bin should be provided. In large operations a hand basin must be provided near to all food preparation areas. A purpose built unit [e.g. a ‘Teal’ unit] is expected. If such a unit cannot be provided then clean plastic bowls can be used, provided that hot and cold water is made available.

Water Supply
In order to have available an adequate supply of potable water you must consider in advance what your arrangements will be. This will include how much wholesome water you will need, where you will get it, what containers you will use, how you will transport it to your unit, how you will safely pour quantities into basins etc and where relevant, how you will heat it. Calculate how much water you will need for regular hand washing and general cleaning etc. Please ensure that all water containers are cleaned inside and out. Chlorine tablets e.g. “Milton” should be regularly used for this purpose.

Where there is a suitable source of potable water at a site, the location will be made known to you. Otherwise you must ensure that your water source (and means of filling containers) is free from risk of contamination.

Waste Water Disposal
You must have adequate arrangements and/or facilities for the hygienic storage and disposal of waste liquids. Foul water may not be disposed of in a rain water drainage system but must be transported to a suitable foul water drain. An on site foul water disposal location will be made available wherever possible. Otherwise you must ensure that your waste water is disposed of at another suitable foul water drain. Camping style ‘walkable’ foul water containers may be appropriate for your needs. Waste water containers should be clearly marked as waste.

Bins with close fitting lids should be provided for the temporary storage of waste. Refuse must be regularly removed from the food stall in sealed bags and stored tidily to await collection or removal. Containers need to be sealed to minimise the presence of flies etc. Wash hands thoroughly after dealing with waste.

You will be informed of any local arrangements for refuse disposal. Otherwise you must make your own arrangements to ensure that all of your waste is properly disposed of.

Lighting and Power Supply
Arrangements should be made for the provision of artificial lighting, together with sufficient electric power socket outlets for refrigerators, freezers etc. All electrical connections and adaptations should be made by a competent electrician, in accordance with the IEE Wiring Regulations (16th Edition).

Temperature Control
Under the provisions of the regulations you are required to keep perishable foods at a temperature of 8°C, and preferably below 5°C. Make sure that you have sufficient storage space for all the foods that need refrigeration. You must also keep records of your temperature control checks (if using SFBB, these are mainly covered in the opening & closing checks). Don’t forget to take ‘prove it’ readings for any cooked foods (using a probe thermometer).

Examples of food to be kept refrigerated


Cream cakes 

Cooked meat, fish or vegetable pies, pasties and pates 

Sausage rolls, spring rolls 

Dairy desserts 

Soft cheeses 

Cooked products containing meat, fish, eggs and vegetarian substitutes, 

cheese, cereals, pulses or vegetables. 

Smoked or cured fish 

Cut or sliced smoked or cured meat 

Sandwiches or rolls containing meat, fish, egg, soft cheese, etc 

All other foodstuffs labelled “Keep Refrigerated” 
On no account should these high risk foodstuffs be stored overnight at room temperature on food stalls, in pavilions, in kitchen areas or stored in the back of un-refrigerated vehicles. These requirements are intended to reduce to a minimum the growth of food poisoning organisms and hence to prevent a risk of food poisoning. 
Ensure all relevant raw food is properly cooked before sale. Once frozen food has thawed it should be used, refrigerated or discarded but should not be refrozen. Once food is cooked it must be kept hot, above 63°C, or quickly cooled and refrigerated to below 8°C, and preferably below 5°C. 
Protection against Contamination 
All open food that you have on display must be adequately protected from risk of contamination. Normally food should be kept covered or protected by screens. You will need to make practical decisions dependant upon conditions. Foods awaiting cooking must also be kept covered wherever possible to discourage flies and wasps. 
Raw and cooked food must be kept apart at all times. Surfaces and equipment should be regularly cleaned with an anti-bacterial food-safe cleaner to generally reduce bacteria and to reduce the risks of cross-contamination. 
Protective Clothing 
Persons engaged in the handling of open food must wear clean and washable protective over-clothing. These must be changed daily or more frequently if they become dirty. 
Outdoor clothing and footwear should be stored away from food preparation areas. Long hair should be tied up or covered by a hairnet or hat. 
Foodstuffs stored or displayed for sale should not normally be placed directly on the ground. To protect all foodstuffs from the risk of contamination they should be at least 18 inches (0.5 metres) from the ground. 
Keep tinned and packet goods dry and tidily stacked. Ensure you have enough food storage containers in which to store put packet foods once opened. Don’t store food outside, in direct sunlight or where it may get wet or damp. 
All equipment intended to be used in connection with food operations must be kept clean, safe and in good repair. 


Equipment and work surfaces must be regularly disinfected or sanitised. It is recommended to draw up a cleaning schedule, itemising equipment and areas which require cleaning, frequency and who should do it. (Those using SFBB will have an example to follow.)

Delivery Vehicles

Only vehicles which have been purpose designed or suitably adapted to comply with the regulations should be used for the transport, storage or delivery of food.

Health & Safety at Work Prerequisites to trade at a Local Market

You must act to eliminate or minimise all workplace risks to the safety of your staff and others. This will include making assessments of the health & safety risks associated with your business and then doing what is necessary to remove or minimise those risks. If your organisation employs more than 5 people, the important points from your own risk assessment must be available in writing for inspection. Particular care should be given to vehicle movement on and off site, safe stall construction and dismantling, safety of gas and electricity supply, safe control of hot equipment and trip/slip hazards, control of chemicals hazardous to health (COSHH), manual handling and young people at work. Where necessary you must assess fire hazards. If you are in any doubt about controlling fire risks, further advice should be sought from your local fire prevention officer before you leave for the event. In Local , Environmental Health staff enforce health and safety laws at markets. Please note that in some circumstances, health and safety matters may fall for enforcement purposes to the Health & Safety Executive.

Further Advice

The following work activities cause the most accidents at outdoor events and you must consider whether you can avoid the activity and if not whether you have appropriate equipment to do the job and that your employees are properly trained.

• Transport issues – How will deliveries be managed? Are vehicles suitable and drivers competent? Can reversing be avoided? Are there restrictions on times of deliveries to protect the public? Where the Local Authority operates a specific access and departure system, this will be made known and you must follow it.

• Manual handling – Can manual handling be avoided? Do you have handling aids available? Do staff know how to use them?

• Slips, trips and falls – Are floor coverings in good condition and kept clean? Are walkways kept clear? Is lighting adequate at night? Do you clean up spillages straightaway? What footwear does the staff have?

In addition to these more general risks associated with work in the kitchen, you also need to consider the following:

First Aid Kit

Each stall, stand or catering unit should be provided with a fully stocked first aid kit including bandages and waterproof dressings. Someone needs to take responsibility for taking charge of arrangements for example in the event of an accident.

Guarding of Machinery

• Operators shall ensure that all machinery used for cutting, slicing, mincing etc is properly guarded to prevent injury to personnel.
• All persons operating such machinery shall be trained and instructed in its proper use.

No person under the age of 18 years shall be allowed to clean such a machine. 

Suitable clear and precise notices should be displayed in the vicinity of the machine working area with a statement to the effect: 
“Guards to be fixed in position before operation of the machine”
“No person under the age of 18 years is allowed to clean this machine” 
Carbon dioxide cylinders 
Carbon dioxide (CO2) cylinders should be securely restrained in the vertical position when connected up to e.g. beer dispensing equipment. 

Restraint may be in the form of straps, chains or by mobile cylinder support. 

Full cylinders not in use and empty cylinders, should be either securely restrained in the vertical position or alternatively if laid on the floor, they should be securely wedged to prevent rolling. 
Safe use of LPG 
The storage and use of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), i.e. Propane or Butane, may lead to hazardous situations and is therefore potentially dangerous. 
When using LPG in cylinders you should ensure that: 

• LPG cylinders must be stored and connected outside of tents and marquees (for mobile vans see 8th point below).
• Cylinders stand with the valve at its highest point (unless specifically designed to be stored otherwise).

• The maximum quantity of LPG in cylinders on any stand, including LPG connected to appliances or equipment should not exceed a day’s supply. If it is proposed to use or store greater quantities then prior discussion and agreement with the event organisers should take place.

• The change over procedure when coupling to appliances should be properly understood and staff properly instructed and supervised.
• So called “empty” cylinders still contain gas and therefore should be carefully handled. The “empty” cylinders should be stored in the open air with the shut off valve in the closed position.

• Fixed piping is to be used where possible. However, if flexible tubing is used, it should be suitable for its purpose, e.g. to the appropriate British standard and if necessary, provided with mechanical protection to minimise damage.
• Tubing should be crimped or secured by a suitable hose clip or similar and be gas tight. When not required, gas supplies should be isolated at the cylinder as well as at the appliance.

• Propane cylinders may be used to supply gas to frying and catering appliances in mobiles providing that the cylinders and regulators are situated in a separate ventilated and fire resistant (not less than 30 minutes fire resistance) compartment having access from outside the vehicle.

• The cylinders must be fitted in the vertical position with the valve at its highest position and must be fastened securely to prevent movement during transit. Service and reserve cylinders should preferably be connected through an automatic changeover device in order that the reserve cylinder can automatically come into operation when the service cylinder has been exhausted.

• It is important that all barbecues and grills are screened to prevent the public and staff being burnt by them. Please ensure all your gas operated equipment has been checked by a competent Corgi registered gas fitter and certified safe. You should bring copies of inspection documentation to the event so it is available for inspection.

Fire-Fighting equipment

Provision shall be made for fire-fighting and any appliances provided shall be kept readily available for use.

All catering stalls should be provided with a 5kg dry powder extinguisher and fire blanket as a minimum. All extinguishers should be properly maintained and regularly inspected and all staff should be made familiar with the use of the appliances. Some extinguishers are not suitable for certain types of fires, e.g. a foam extinguisher is unsuitable for tackling an LPG fire.

Further advice on fire safety is available from your local fire prevention officer.

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