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Businesses that supply or produce food on the move

4 minute read

The food and drink industry is the UK’s biggest manufacturing sector with an annual turnover of £90 billion in 2018, employing 3.9 million people. Although the number of people regularly eating out is growing, restaurant chains are on the decline, and innovative food businesses are moving into the spotlight – particularly those with a focus on changing the way we eat. Creative delivery services and vegan food lines are an everyday part of the modern culinary experience, and many successful startups are taking advantage of this new revolution.

Requirements that apply when you supply or produce food on the move:

Transporting food 

If you are a movable, temporary or domestic business, you must be aware of the requirements that apply to you and your business.  

When you transport food you must prevent it from becoming contaminated. 

Vehicles and containers used to transport food must be:

  • Kept clean and in good condition 
  • Protected in a way to minimise contamination 
  • Capable of keeping food at the right temperature 
  • Able to check food temperatures where necessary 

When transporting, you must separate: 

  • Different types of food, for example raw food and ready-to-eat food 
  • Food from non-food items 
  • Food can be contaminated if vehicles and containers are not cleaned. 

Movable and temporary premises 

Where food is sold direct to consumers, these premises must also be registered with local authorities. They must ensure that food is handled and supplied safely. 

Movable and temporary premises include: 

  • Marquees 
  • Stalls 
  • Vans 
  • Trailers 

Food businesses based in domestic premises 

As with movable or temporary premises, food businesses based in domestic premises must also be registered with local authorities if they supply consumers directly. They must also ensure food is handled and supplied safely. 

The legal requirements for these premises are different because of the different circumstances and allow more flexibility. 

Food businesses based in domestic premises include B&B's, home cake makers some childminders. 


Surfaces that come into contact with food must be easy to clean and are to be kept in a sound condition. 

Suitable materials are:

  • Smooth 
  • Washable 
  • Corrosion-resistant 
  • Non-toxic 

Requirements for facilities are: 

  • An adequate supply of hot and cold water 
  • Adequate facilities for cleaning and disinfecting 
  • Storage for utensils and equipment 
  • Made of corrosion-resistant materials 
  • You must have adequate facilities for washing food where necessary. 

Source: Food Standards Agency  

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