GUIDE FOR MOBILE STREET
This guide has been prepared by the Greater Manchester Food Liaison Group. The guide is intended to provide information to mobile traders selling hot food, burgers, ice cream etc. on standards of food hygiene and safety. It is not a legal document.
Less strict standards will apply to low risk operations such as the sale of fruit and vegetables or pre-packed groceries.
Compliance with the guide, or suitable alternative methods approved by your Food Safety Officer, will be expected of any mobile food traders applying for a Street Trading Consent or Licence from Bolton Council.
Street Trading Consent or Licence
Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 the Council operates a street trading consent scheme and also has a number of licensed street trading pitches
Before trading you must obtain the appropriate consent or licence. Further information, application forms and details of current fees can be obtained from:
Please check with the Licensing Team on suitable areas for trading.
Telephone: 01204 336584
It is important to seek as much business advice as possible before making any final commitment to go into business. It is worth contacting major banks for business advice.
Food Premises Registration
In addition to your street trading consent or licence your food business will need to be registered with the local authority where your vehicle or stall is normally stored. There is no charge for registration. An application form is included at the end of this guide.
Registration is free of charge and if you require to be registered the local authority cannot refuse to register you. Registration ensures that the local authority is aware of your business so that they may offer advice and carry out inspections as necessary. Whether registered or not, your food stall or vehicle will be subject to inspection on a regular basis by food enforcement officers from the local authority Food Control Unit.
Vehicles/Mobile Sales Units
Vehicles which sell food must be of a type which is suitable for use as a catering or food sales unit. Purpose made vehicles are preferred. Vehicles must be of an adequate size to allow
food to be prepared hygienically. Ideally the cab should be separate from the food area. Where this is not possible, it must be constructed so that it can be cleaned easily.
Where food is sold from stalls or barrows they must be constructed so they are easy to clean and so that food is protected from risk of contamination from passing traffic and the public.
The important thing is to make cleaning as easy as possible.
Floors should be covered with non-slip impervious material. The edges should be sealed and ideally coved to make cleaning easy. Ensure all floor coverings are securely fastened down, with no edges or lips to cause a tripping hazard.
The flooring should be made from a material that remains slip resistant when wet. Never place cardboard boxes on the floor when wet, this causes a trip hazard.
Walls, ceilings and doors must be smooth, washable and easy to clean. Joints must be sealed and kept to a minimum. Suitable surfaces are stainless steel, plastic sheet materials, gloss paint etc. A heat resistant, easy to clean surface such as stainless steel will be required near to cooking equipment.
As far as possible, all internal structures must be free of ledges and projections to avoid dirt traps. Joints between work surfaces could be a dirt trap and should be properly sealed. It is recommended that the junctions between preparation surfaces and walls are sealed with a suitable silicone sealant.
Work Surfaces, Storage Units, Equipment etc.
All working surfaces, cupboard areas and shelving must be capable of being easily cleaned. Suitable preparation surfaces are stainless steel and laminated plastic. Cupboards and storage units should preferably be finished with a laminated surface. Gloss painted or varnished timber is acceptable but is less durable.
Cooking equipment should be maintained in a clean hygienic condition at all times and all combustible materials adjacent or above the equipment must be properly fireproofed.
All equipment must be in good condition and capable of being easily cleaned. Catering grade equipment is recommended. Equipment must be secured but access should be provided for cleaning beneath and behind.
TEMPERATURE CONTROL OF FOOD
Traders must be aware that the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 require food businesses to make sure that the food they sell is safe and that it is kept at the correct temperature.
Where “high risk” foods such as cooked meats, cheese, cream or milk are sold, a suitable refrigerator of adequate size should be provided to maintain such foods at low temperatures (Ideally 0?C to 5?C). In very limited circumstances the use of cool boxes and freezer packs is acceptable for storing food for short periods. However, frequent opening and closing allows temperatures to rise so their effective use is limited. The Food Control Unit can advise on this.
In the case of fish, ice should be provided for keeping the temperature down to 5?C or below. Food must not be displayed in direct sunlight as it will increase the temperature of the food.
Suitable thermometers should be provided in all fridges and freezers so that temperatures can be checked daily.
Effective separation must be maintained between raw and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination of food poisoning bacteria. Separate refrigerator accommodation should be considered for raw and cooked foods. Food which is not pre-packed must be protected from the risk of contamination by keeping in suitable lidded containers or covering with food wrap.
Freezers should operate at -18?C or colder.
It is important that food such as burgers and sausages are cooked thoroughly to temperatures above 75?C. In particular, burgers must be cooked until the juices run clear and there are no pink bits inside.
Where possible it is safer to cook food freshly and serve it immediately. However, if food is to be kept hot for any period of time a bain-marie or other equipment must be provided which will keep the food above 63?C.
A suitable probe thermometer should be kept in the vehicle and regular
temperature checks carried out to ensure that correct temperatures are maintained, e.g. food being stored in the bain-marie.
Adequate washing facilities must be provided in all units where „high-risk‟ foods such as hot
dogs, burgers, ice cream etc. are sold.
Separate washing facilities must be provided for hand washing and preparing food/washing equipment. This is necessary to reduce the risk of cross contamination of food poisoning bacteria. Plastic bowls and flasks of hot water are not acceptable.
In catering units such as ice cream vans and fast food units where only a small amount of food preparation is undertaken and few utensils are used, a purpose-made double unit manufactured for mobile traders comprising a small hand basin and sink will be acceptable.
The following facilities must be provided: -
Where open food is sold, a purpose-made wash hand basin must be installed for personal use only, complete with an adequate supply of hot and cold water (or hot water at a suitably controlled temperature). Soap or detergent and a hygienic means of drying hands (i.e. paper towels) must be provided.
The number of sinks required will depend on the size of the business and the amount of equipment to be washed. For example in catering units using crockery and cutlery for serving food, a double-bowled sink with integral drainer would be recommended, however a minimum of one sink should be provided. Sinks should be large enough for the equipment to be washed. An adequate supply of hot water and cold water must be provided.
In ice cream vehicles you must ensure that you use the appropriate cleaning detergent and disinfectant to clean out the soft ice cream dispenser and tank. Follow the manufacturer‟s instructions on how to clean and use the correct amount of cleaning material.
Cleaning and disinfecting chemicals must be suitable for use with food. It is recommended that a bactericidal detergent is used to allow effective cleaning and disinfection.
The utensils such as ice cream scoops should be rinsed and sanitised frequently. This can be achieved by placing two containers containing sanitising solution within easy reach of the ice-cream freezer. One container should be used for rinsing off the ice-cream and the other for sanitising the utensils. Both containers should be emptied and refilled with fresh solution at least once every hour.
Water must be supplied directly to the wash basin and sink(s) from taps located immediately above them. The use of jugs to carry hot water from a boiler to sinks or wash hand basins is not acceptable.
Water tanks or food grade storage containers (minimum 10 gallon capacity) should be cleaned regularly ideally with disinfectant suitable for food use. Suitable tablets can be purchased from camping/caravan shops and some supermarkets.
An adequate supply of hot water must be provided to all sinks and wash hand basins e.g. from an instantaneous gas multipoint water heater of a type normally fitted in caravans.
These are capable of supplying a number of outlets with adequate hot water, the temperature of which can be controlled. Electrically operated pump draws water from a plastic storage container, pumps it through the appliance, where it is heated instantaneously and delivers it to the outlet over the sink or wash-hand basin.
Cleaning of water pipes and water storage bottles
It is strongly recommended that pipes and water bottles are cleaned on a weekly basis with appropriate cleaning chemicals such as Milton.
Waste Water/Refuse Storage and Disposal
Waste water must be piped direct from washing facilities into sealed containers or tanks. These should be cleaned regularly. Waste water must not be discharged into road gullies or onto the ground.
Refuse must be stored in suitable lidded bins (preferably foot pedal operated). Bins must be emptied at least daily. Where necessary, suitable bins must be provided for customers litter etc.
All refuse produced by the business should be removed from the site and disposed of properly to avoid any nuisance or attraction to vermin or insects.
Adequate natural or artificial lighting must be provided to allow food to be prepared hygienically and for staff to work safely. Fluorescent lights are a good source of illumination. It is recommended that bulbs and tubes are fitted with suitable diffusers.
Adequate ventilation must be provided above all cooking equipment. Ventilation from frying ranges should be direct through the ceiling or wall at the rear of the appliance.
A suitable canopy must be provided above deep fat fryers, griddles etc. Grease filters are recommended. The flue should terminate at least 300mm above the roof of the vehicle and be fitted with a suitable cowl or similar to prevent rain from entering.
Adequate ventilation is needed to keep working temperatures in the vehicle comfortable and remove the products of combustion.
Where traders operate on the same site throughout their trading period, arrangements should be made for access to a toilet in nearby premises, or a toilet must be provided.
If sanitary accommodation is provided inside the unit it must be suitably ventilated to the external air and entered through a ventilated lobby or from the outside of the vehicle. A wash hand basin complete with an adequate supply of hot and cold water (or hot water at a suitable controlled temperature) should be provided, complete with soap or detergent and a means of drying hands (i.e. paper towels).
Food Safety Management System
The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 require all food business operators to have a written food safety management system based on HACCP principles [HACCP stands for hazard analysis critical control points, and is simply a process you must use to try and make
sure that any food you prepare is safe for your customers to eat. It helps you to protect your customers, can save wastage and is therefore good for business.]
Food safety management is not new and much of it has in fact been a legal requirement since 1995. However you are now also required to provide some simple written evidence that your procedures ensure food safety have been thought through carefully and are being properly applied, and that the food prepared or sold by you is safe to eat.
In simple terms this means that you must look at the operation from start to finish, decide which parts of it might lead to the food which you serve or sell becoming unsafe to eat and take action to prevent this from happening.
Food Control Unit officers will expect to see a brief written explanation of your system when they carry out an inspection and any monitoring records, (such as food temperature records) which demonstrate that system is being properly applied.
The Food Standards Agency has produced guidance called „Safer Food, Better Business‟ (SFBB) which will guide you through how to comply and provide the necessary documentation. Alternatively you can adopt a traditional HACCP approach.
Your Food Safety Officer can provide you with a copy of SFBB or you can order one from Food Standards Agency Publications on 0845 606 0667 or by emailing:
You are required to have traceability for your food business. E.g. You must be able to identify the suppliers where you source your products/ingredients. You should keep invoices or receipts for inspection.
Ice cream traders must be able to show that ice cream mix is adequately labelled with such information as date coding and manufacturer details. You may not be issued with a licence/consent if it is found that you have containers of ice cream mix that are not correctly labelled.
Some people have allergies to certain foods such as nuts, seeds, milk, etc. You may be asked by a customer if food is free from such as allergens as nuts or milk. You need to ensure that you have adequate procedures in place for controlling allergens. If you have such ingredients in your food products then you must be honest with the consumer and inform that you cannot cater for them. The following good practice should be observed:
；Member of staff have food allergy awareness.
；Sufficient communication with consumer who has a food allergy
；Nominate person who understands ingredients i.e. Chef/manager
；Place sign/menu for customers advising of products that may have allergenic ingredients
；Beware of cross contamination of allergenic ingredients i.e. Nuts and seeds
；Good cleaning procedures
FOOD SAFETY TRAINING
Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 came into force in January 2006 and makes the training of food handlers compulsory. The Regulations say that all food handlers must be ‘supervised and
instructed and /or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activities’.
In simple terms this means that everyone involved in a food business who handles food must receive some training or instruction. The training needed will depend on the type of business, foods prepared or served and the type of work the person does. For example a person who prepares burgers will need more detailed training than someone who handles only fruit and vegetables.
Food handlers who prepare or serve high risk or perishable foods will need a level 2 Award in Food safety or equivalent. It is good practice for a business to have a training plan to identify the training needed for each member of staff.
The person responsible for the development and maintenance of a food safety management system should have adequate training in the application of HACCP principles.
A list of local organisations that run food safety training courses is available from our office.
All food traders must maintain a high level of personal cleanliness by keeping themselves, their clothes and their over clothing clean.
Hand washing is one of the most important steps in producing safe food. Hands must always be washed before starting work and after any task which may have made them dirty, particularly after handling raw food or visiting the toilet.
Clean, suitable (e.g. long sleeved) and washable over clothing must be worn whilst handling, serving or preparing open food. Head coverings are also recommended.
Protective clothing should only be worn during the trading period and should not be worn when setting up the vehicle, carrying out maintenance etc.
Disposable gloves may be used, however they should be changed regularly and washed between handling raw and cooked food (as you would wash your hands.)
All cuts and abrasions should be covered with a blue waterproof plaster at all times. Smoking in any food area is prohibited.
Food handlers should not work if they are suffering from food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhoea or vomiting. They should stay away from any food handling area until 48 hours after
the diarrhoea or vomiting has ceased. On return to work careful attention to personal hygiene including scrupulous hand washing is essential.
Food Business Operators should instruct all staff on appointment that they must notify the person in charge before they start work if suffering from any of these symptoms. It is also good practice to give new staff this instruction in writing.
Food handlers should also be aware that skin infections such as boils, septic fingers or any other discharging wound can also lead to contamination of food with food poisoning bacteria. These conditions must also be reported to the person in charge of the business.
Food Handling Practices
Safe food handling techniques are important to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Food must be protected from risk of contamination with food poisoning bacteria.
For example: -
; Food should not be handled unless absolutely necessary. Tongs or serving utensils
should be used wherever possible.
; Separate utensils and chopping boards should be used for the preparation of raw and
; Sneeze guards may be required at the serving counter to protect food from customers
coughing or sneezing.
; Food must not be left in cans once opened.
; Food for sale must be kept completely separate from waste food or refuse.
; Wrappings must be of food grade quality, clean and stored in a clean place. Wrapping in
newspaper is not acceptable unless food is first wrapped in food grade paper.
; A stock rotation system must be set up. High-risk foods must be sold within their „Use By‟
date. Only as much stock as is necessary for immediate use should be carried.
; Displayed food must be covered or wrapped, as appropriate.
; Raw and ready to eat foods must be kept separate.
Where food handling is carried out at home or at a storage depot, these premises must also comply with food safety legislation.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
As far as possible accidents at work should be anticipated and prevented by the use of safe systems of work, safe equipment and the proper training and supervision of staff.
When accidents do occur, arrangements for first aid, summoning of medical assistance, investigation and reporting should be clear.
Vehicles must be of an adequate size for food handlers to work safely. A safe entry/exit to the vehicle must be provided, particularly where public have access.
Extra care is required in mobile vehicles as mains power is not usually available and bottled gas and electricity generators may be used.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)
LPG is almost universally used in mobiles as a convenient and safe source of heat for cooking. It can however form a highly explosive mixture when mixed with air, particularly in enclosed spaces such as mobile vehicles. Great care must be taken to avoid leaks of gas into the cooking area where there are naked flames.
Where liquid gas is utilised: -
; All LPG cylinders, regulators and change-over devices should be located in the open air or
housed in a separate, well ventilated, fire-resistant compartment. Compartments should
be ventilated at low and high level to the external air only and should have access
exclusively from outside the vehicle (to enable safe access to shut off the cylinders in case
; Where LPG cylinders are located to the open they should be enclosed in a suitable
enclosure which is locked to prevent unauthorised access.
; The cylinders should be fitted upright and fastened securely during transit and use. All
valves and appliance controls should be turned off whilst the vehicle is in motion.
; Cylinders should preferably be connected by means of an automatic changeover device.
This device should be connected to both service and reserve cylinder and will
automatically divert the supply from service to reserve when the service cylinder is empty.
This will ensure an uninterrupted supply and will eliminate the need to change cylinders
manually whilst food handling is being carried out.
; The storage compartment should be used solely for the storage of LPG cylinders,
associated pressure regulation equipment and specialist tools as necessary.
; Storage compartments should be constructed of non-combustible material and provide at
least 30 minutes fire resistance.
Flexible LPG Hoses
Flexible LPG hoses should be of high pressured type (BS3212 part 2) where fitted between cylinder and regulator and of the low pressure type (BS3212 part 1) in all other areas.