Food Safety in festival season

In the summer months, not a week goes by when an event isn’t advertised, whether it be a music festival, food festival or summer fair.

Glastonbury was the hot topic of the first in this series Health and Safety in festival season. Those of us who were not lucky enough to attend had the privilege of watching the headliners in the comfort of our own homes. Usually smug, warm and dry, this year left us green-eyed with envy as the sun continued to shine strong over the farm.

With the sun comes higher temperatures and higher food safety concerns. As a mobile food vendor, it’s important to remember that the same principles apply as they would a permanent kitchen e.g. to avoid cross-contamination, wash your hands, utensils and surfaces and store food at correct temperatures.

If an incident occurs, such as a food poisoning outbreak, it is the organisers and festival’s name at risk. Therefore, it is good practice that the organiser provides the Local Authority with the following information:

  • List of Food Traders along with their Food Hygiene Rating
  • Registration/licensing documents and authority where registered
  • Food hygiene certificates
  • Public and Employers Liability Insurance

It’s also important the following key points are followed when trading to remain compliant:

  • Documentation – the same principles apply to a temporary festival as they do to a permanent high street business. Traders must have fully implemented HACCP documentation available which that is up-to-date and complete and have temperature records in place for all aspects of the operation.
  • Training certificates – all staff must be appropriately trained and certificates must be available. Temporary staff are often used at these events which can present a challenge in ensuring everyone is fully trained in food safety controls, processes and procedures.
  • Water supply – all catering operators must have a sufficient supply of portable (mains) water throughout the festival and a backup supply should be considered.
  • Hand washing units – there must be separate hand washing facilities with a supply of hot and cold water, soap and clean towel Wash hand basins and sinks must drain hygienically to a wastewater container e.g. sink waste pipe into a wastewater carrier, and must not discharge directly on to the ground or into a road drain.
  • Location of your operation must not be adjacent to the refuse disposal or toilets.
  • Structure –separate and sufficient areas must be available for preparation of foods, cooking of foods and hot holding. In addition, adequate refrigeration, equipment, storage facilities and waste disposal are all needed. This can be difficult with the mobile/temporary nature of festival food vendors as there is limited space available!
  • Suppliers – provision must be made of how to get supplies to the event if it runs longer than one day.

By ensuring that the food safety standards are maintained in the field as they would be in a restaurant, festival fun can be had without a hitch!

For further advice or support, Shield Safety Group’s largest team of Environmental Health Practitioners in the country are ready to help. Our Policies cover all of the important food safety concerns, including allergens, E. coli and food poisoning. For any further advice, head to our Safety Advice Line and our team are ready to help. Contact us on 0203 740 3744 or email

The information contained in this blog article has been created for marketing purposes and is not official guidance and should not be used as a substitute for official Food Safety, Fire Safety and Health & Safety advice. Shield Safety take no responsibility if the information in the blog article is used to form part of a safety management system or used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business. For official guidance and to engage with Shield Safety services please do call our team on 020 3740 3744 or email

Sign up for our blog


Shield Safety Group

Blogs, Food Safety

Latest insights

3 weeks | 3 mins
From Risk to Re-assurance: 5 Tips For Transforming Your Business’ Allergy Policy

When you work in the hospitality industry, ensuring the safety of every guest is paramount […]

Read post
4 weeks | 2 mins
Essential Safety Tips for Managing Allergies

Allergies affect millions worldwide, impacting people of all ages and backgrounds. In the UK alone, […]

Read post
2 months | 1 min
How can dynamic data inform real-time change in your business? 

At Shield Safety, we’re transforming how businesses manage safety through the delivery of trusted safety […]

Read post

Keep in touch