A great deal of organisation and preparation goes into setting up a stall as an event caterer. Competition is fierce to secure your place as a vendor and once that place is secured there’s menus to curate, stock to order and payment options to think about.
Ticking off all these core facets of organisational set up can often take precedence however keeping the importance of food safety in mind in the run up to the event is essential for success and ensuring a positive experience for those visiting your stall.
Whether you’re thinking of setting up a food stall in the future or are in the midst of organisation, we’ve compiled 5 essential food and safety basics to keep in mind:
1. Ensure compliance with minimum requirements for stalls
It may be for a day or four days but nonetheless there are minimum requirements for setting up your stall that must be adhered to.
In order to promote food safety, stalls must have smooth and hardwearing surfaces for food preparation such as stainless steel tables. Stalls should also be covered and screened at the back and sides to reduce the risk of food contamination. It’s also mandatory that stalls have the name and address of the person carrying out the business on display.
Additionally, it’s crucial to note that all stalls that carry out food prep or have food storage must have potable water. It’s up to the business how this is stored but it goes without saying that it needs to be stored hygienically and free from contamination.
A self–contained sink is the ideal means of incorporating running water into your stall for regular hygienic handwashing. With no plumbing required it is a fuss–free set up.
2. Ensure food handlers meet personal hygiene requirements
After you’ve ensured that your stall meets the minimum requirements, it’s important to ensure that food handlers do too.
Ensure that food handlers –
– Reduce the risk of hair getting into food by wearing a hat at all times
– Wear an apron
– Wash their hands thoroughly and regularly
– Aren’t unwell from food poisoning, virus, flu or cold within the last 48 hours
3. Ensure you have adequate storage facilities
One of the most important but challenging aspects of food safety involves the safe storage of food at the required temperature. When you’re a mobile caterer space and ease of access to resources will always pose an issue but it’s all about making the best use of your space and resources.
For bigger events where you require more surplus stock, cold storage solutions can effectively facilitate safe and spacious storage across a number of days. The size of cold storage required can be tailored to specifications and event regulations.
4. Maintain awareness of cross–contamination
It should be second nature to every chef and food handler by this point but it’s key to reiterate the risks of cross–contamination to promote best practices.
Queues may be long and stress levels quickly rising but nonetheless maintaining proper practice of food safety remains the priority. This includes ensuring that the same equipment for raw and cooked foods are not used and separate surfaces for preparation are also used.
5. Invest in a first aid kit
It’s good to be prepared for any mishaps that may arise, especially in a festival environment. A few items that should be stowed in an easily accessible first aid kit are as follows –
– Adhesive plasters (blue or green)
– Sterile eye pad
– Triangular bandage
– Sterile covering for a serious wound
– Safety pins
– Medium sterile dressings
– Large sterile dressing
Finally, be sure to notify all staff where the first aid kit is located.
This post has covered the mere basics of food safety for event catering. If you’d like to read up in more detail ahead of your next event, please click here to read further information from The Office for Health and Social Care.
In need of any last–minute refrigeration or catering equipment for your next event? Get in touch with a member of the team today.