Food Prep in Churches Advice

FAO Church Contacts and Senior Stewards

Dear all,

I have recently been asked about the legal requirements for registering your Church with the local authority if food is prepared and served on the premises. I have made enquiries, and below is the recommendation in a nutshell –

A ‘food business establishment’ essentially means “any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private carries out any activities related to the production, processing and distribution of food, where there is a certain degree of organisation and certain continuity of food activities.”

So to summarise the situation for Churches:

“Those Churches/venues that are already registered and rated for luncheon clubs – should continue as such, those ratings would cover the most high risk activity and as such would cover other ad hoc activities, as at the time of inspection the facilities are inspected as well as the practices and procedures of the luncheon club. If the kitchen is hired out for private events that is the responsibility of the person hiring the facility. Ad hoc events in these churches/venues would come under that registration.”

“Those Churches/venues that are not registered but do offer something from time to time – if it is just hot drinks and biscuits then don’t worry about registering them, as those activities are so low risk. However, if there are any more high risk activities such as the occasional Sunday Lunch then I would recommend registration and inspection.”

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