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Pop-up restaurants must comply with food safety regulations

Pop-up restaurants are being reminded that they must comply with food safety regulations and register with local councils before trading.

The warning, from Lloyd’s Register, one of the world’s leading inspection, assurance and auditing service providers, follows a huge increase in street food and pop-up restaurant vendors in the UK in recent years. However, the pop-up dining boom has raised fears that some vendors could cut corners with food safety regulations and in their food handling and storage regimes.

Justine Wadge, technical consultant, customised assurance at Lloyd’s Register, comments: “There is a misconception that the transient and temporary nature of pop-up restaurants means that they aren’t governed by the same regulations, such as the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013 or the Regulation (EC) 852/2004. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the food regulatory regime in the UK.”

She continues: “Even if a vendor is only in one location for a few days, temporary food businesses must still register with the local council, specifically the environmental health inspectors.”

With resources over-stretched, there is a concern that councils are unable to deal with the number of inspections that the pop-up restaurant explosion is creating, and that self-policing is inevitably going to form a large part of the regulatory solution.

Justine adds: “My advice to pop-up restaurant owners is to empower yourself with the knowledge required via the training and consultation that is available. In the long-term, doing the bare minimum is a false economy. Without the proper food handling and storage techniques, pop-up restaurants risk leaving themselves open to prosecution and civil claims if anything goes wrong. What’s more, with recent changes to the sentencing guidelines, businesses could be facing large penalties for infringements of the regulations.”

Lloyds Register

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