Ensuring food safety during the Olympic Games
The organisers of next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games estimate that 14 million meals will be served at more than 40 Olympic venues across the UK. The total number of people to feed, and the amount of food required to feed them, make the Games the largest peace-time catering operation in the world.
Food Standards Agency responsibilities
An operation on this scale is a challenge to ensure that everyone connected with or attending the Games has food and drink that is of a high standard and safe to eat.
The Food Standards Agency is responsible for food safety and consumer protection. It is working with a range of partners to ensure food safety measures are in place for the Games. These include:
- Helping local authorities improve hygiene standards in food businesses situated in the vicinity of Olympic venues.
- Making local authorities aware of the importance of identifying illegal mobile catering operations, and ensuring local authorities have the resources and capabilities to remove them if required.
- Managing foodborne illness outbreaks during the Games.
- Improving local authority enforcement skills and capacity.
- Coordinating sampling activities in and outside the Olympic venues.
- Providing advice and information to importers who may be considering importing food and animal feed.
To achieve these aims, the Agency will be working closely with a number of other organisations and bodies, which have separate responsibilities.
- The Joint Local Authority Regulatory services (JLARS) is the representative organisation for the four London boroughs that form the Olympic Park.
- The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is responsible for the planning, funding, preparation and staging of the Games.
- The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is responsible for protecting the public from threats to their health from infectious diseases and environmental hazards.
- Local authorities are responsible for enforcement.
Information for food businesses
If you are intending to set up your own food business during the Olympic Games, you must make sure that the food is safe – this means that it is not harmful to human health or unfit for human consumption.
Regulation (EC) 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, set out the basic hygiene requirements for all aspects of the business, from premises and facilities to the personal hygiene of staff. One of the key requirements is that a food business owner must be able to show what they do to make or sell food that is safe to eat, and have this documented.
The Agency has produced a handy guide on starting up a food business. The guide, which can be found at the link below, provides details of what a food business operator must do and how they can register their food business.
To set up as a mobile trader, you will need to register with your local authority like any other food business operator. In addition, you will need to apply for a street trading licence from your local authority. Application forms can be obtained from your local authority website. The direct.gov.uk website has information to help you identify your local authority. Please use the link below.
Registration is free, and makes the local authority aware of your business so that it may offer advice and carry out inspections as necessary. Whether registered or not, your food stall or vehicle will be subject to inspection on a regular basis by food enforcement officers from the local authority environmental health team.