The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is, as a part of the Government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’, carrying out a consultation on how food law applies to community halls, including village and church halls, which are used for the preparation, sale or supply of food. The idea is to come up with proposals that will reduce the legislative burden on those using community halls for events involving food.
Under current requirements where an activity at a community hall involves the sale of food, or supply without charge, the activity may amount to a food business which the organiser must register with the local authority. Registration involves completing a short form and submitting it to the appropriate local authority.
The FSA is particularly interested to receive comments about the requirement for registration with the local authority and whether the requirement to register could be dropped without compromising consumer safety. There are four scenarios under consideration:
- The full removal of the need to register and otherwise comply with food hygiene legislation for activities in community halls.
- Partial removal of the requirement to register and otherwise comply with food hygiene legislation. This would mean that, for example, charitable organisations and small scale activities would not be required to register or comply with the legislation.
- Removal of the requirement and compliance with food hygiene legislation for activities that do not involve cooking food in a community hall.
- Removal of the requirement and compliance with food hygiene legislation for activities in community halls, except for a requirement that those handling food must hold a recognised food hygiene certificate.
There is an over-riding requirement under EU food law that food offered for sale must be safe. This will apply regardless of any requirement to register.
A similar consultation is underway in relation to childminders who supply food to children in their care on a regular basis.
Further details can be found on the FSA’s website, click here. All views and comments must be submitted by 6 February 2012. These should be sent to:
Hygiene and Microbiology
Food Standards Agency
Room 3C Aviation House
Tel: 020 7276 8940
Fax: 020 7276 8910