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Mobile snack bars

The Council has a responsibility to help you trade safely and responsibly.

If you operate or are considering setting up a mobile snack bar there are many factors you need to consider.

What do I need to trade?

Food premises registration

In all cases you must complete a food premises registration form before trading. Registration is free. In the case of a mobile snack bars, for example you must register your business with the council where you normally store your vehicle overnight.

Street trading licence

Wherever you trade you will need the permission of the landowner to be on their land. 

In some areas you need a special licence ("street trading licence") from the council to trade on the highway.  If you are intending to operate on any land in the city where the public have access, without payment,  then you must apply for a street trading licence.

The premises and work activities undertaken will also need to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulations made under the Act.

What do I have to do to meet the requirements of the regulations?

There are two areas you must consider:

Food safety and hygiene 

  • training - You will need to ensure handlers of open, high-risk food have received adequate training; this will usually be to the level of a Foundation Food Hygiene Certificate
  • hazard analysis - You will also need to demonstrate to the officer that you have carried out a 'Hazard Analysis'. 'Hazard Analysis' involves examining the stages of the business (from food purchase/delivery through to final service/sale to your customer); considering and identifying what can go wrong from a food safety perspective; and then ensure that the necessary controls are in place to prevent these food safety hazards from arising
  • premises layout/design - the premises should be in good repair and capable of being effectively/thoroughly cleaned. (You will need to ensure that you have sufficient and appropriate cleaning chemicals for use)
  • water supply - water must be from a potable supply, with the container being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis
    You will need to have a separate wash-hand basin and equipment/food wash sink, provided with hot and cold water, and have suitable arrangements for the hygienic storage and disposal of liquid waste
  • refuse - suitable arrangements will need to be made for the hygienic storage and disposal of waste

Health and Safety

  • general duty - You will need to ensure the health, safety and welfare of yourself, employees and persons not in your
    employment, for example customers
  • gas safety - cooking equipment on mobile vehicles will often be powered by 'liquefied petroleum gas' (LPG), which is a highly explosive gas when combined with air. You will therefore need to ensure that the LPG cylinders are being stored and used safely

How often will the vehicle need to be inspected?

Inspections of your vehicle will usually be made once every 6 to 18 months.

The frequency of inspection will be determined on a risk-rating basis depending on:

  • the type of food served
  • the condition of the vehicle and equipment
  • your food handling practices