FSA Consultation, 19 February 2013
A copy of the consultation document is available on this site. See: Consultation pack: Draft guidance on food provision in village halls and to other community activities in England
This consultation seeks views on draft guidance on how food law might apply to the supply of food by charities and social organisations in village halls and other community settings. Responses are requested by: 21 May 2013
Who will this consultation be of most interest to?
Local authorities and social and charitable organisations that serve food.
What is the subject of this consultation?
The provision of food by social organisations and charities in village halls and other community settings.
What is the purpose of this consultation?
This consultation seeks views on draft guidance that aims to make clear for stakeholders how food law might apply to the supply of food by charities and social organisations in village halls and other community settings. It is planned to publish finalised guidance on the FSA website in June of this year.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) frequently receives enquiries from local authorities, village hall users and other community organisations on how food hygiene legislation applies to community and charity food provision.
The FSA has produced draft advice that aims to help local authorities and community food operations in village halls and other community settings determine whether the community food operation is deemed to be a 'food business operator' (or FBO), and therefore needs to be registered and is required to comply with food hygiene legislation. Operations that do not need to be registered are still legally required to supply food that is safe, but are not required to comply with food hygiene legislation when doing so.
Annex D provides examples of food operations that are considered by the FSA to either require or not require registration as food businesses.
The proposed approach used:
The governing laws are set out in EU food law (see Annex C for more detail). Food hygiene legislation states that for a food operation to require registration it must have both:
For the purpose of the guidance, the proposed approach is that food operations providing food less frequently than once a month cannot be deemed to have a continuity of activity and therefore, should not require registration, regardless of the scale or complexity of the food provision it carries out.
Where food is provided at least once a month, decisions on whether such operations require registration depend on the degree of organisation involved. When deciding this, a range of factors need to be considered, such as the scale of the event, number of people provided with food and the nature of the food provided.
Operations deemed to meet both the 'continuity' and 'degree of organisation' criteria need to be registered with the local authority and must comply with food hygiene regulations.
How the consultation documents are set out:
The FSA positively welcomes the views of all stakeholders on the Annexes C to E to inform the basis of the proposed guidance document. Links to the various Regulations and documents are all contained in Annex C.
The basic underpinning principle remains that public health should be protected in a manner that is effective, proportionate and risk-based.
Please email (preferred) your comments by 21 May 2013. Please state in your response whether you are responding as a private individual or on behalf of an organisation/company (including details of any stakeholders your organisation represents). Stakeholders may wish to see responses to the previous consultation on the application of food law in community halls which closed on 6 February 2012.