Food safety advice

Advice for consumers on food safety and food standards issues.

Where can I find out the hygiene standards of a food business?

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) helps you choose where to eat out or shop for food by telling you how seriously the business takes their food hygiene standards. Read more about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

I want to provide or sell food at a one-off event. Do I need to register as a food business?

If it is a one-off event then the answer is usually no. You may wish to contact the food services team to let us know what is going on though.


Telephone: (01482) 396301

The food standards agency has produced some information on selling food at street parties:

Food Standards Agency - street parties (external website)

Can I provide or sell homemade cakes at a school/church fair?

There is no rule banning the provision or sale of homemade cakes at school/church fairs or other community events.

The following food hygiene advice should be followed by those people who make the cakes. Always wash hands before preparing food, and:

  • ensure that all surfaces and equipment being used is clean

  • do not use raw eggs in anything that won't be thoroughly cooked, for example, icing or mousse fillings

  • ensure cakes containing cream or cheesecakes are kept in the fridge

  • store cakes away from raw foods

  • transport cakes in clean, closable containers

  • use tongs or a cake slice when handling cakes and wash hands frequently

  • know the exact ingredients the cakes contain for customers with allergies/intolerances.

How long can food be left out on a buffet?

Food should be left out of the fridge for the shortest time possible and not more than four hours. If left at room temperature for a long time bacteria can grow which could cause food poisoning. After this time the remaining food should be thrown away.

Where can I get  further information about food safety and food standards issues?

The food services team has produced a range of advice notes which provide more detailed information on food safety and food standards issues.

View current advice notes in the business section.

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