Catering Company Health & Safety 101: Ensure EHO don't knock

Starting up or buying an existing catering company is a popular route for people who have experience in the industry and want to go it alone. You may have all the management and chef skills to run a fantastic catering company but you need to understand the health and safety regulations too if it's to succeed.

Kitchen Hygiene support helps ensure the EHO doesn't come knocking


There is a whole plethora of health and safety legislation but not all applies to catering because the environment tends to have less risks than other environments. There are also a range of food health/safety laws that need to be complied with and assessing all risks in your business is key to avoiding any problems from the council's environmental health department.

Risk Assessment

Food businesses are required to assess their food safety risks using the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). Product specific hygiene regulations may also have requirements for individual formalised risk assessments. Food businesses are required by law to carry out risk assessments on almost every element of their kitchen and front of house including equipment, ingredients and the processes used by employees to ensure they're all safe and comply with regulations.

Health and Safety Signage

Due to the nature of the catering industry signage is extremely important. You may have hazardous cleaning chemicals stored in the same vicinity as your food products. They will of course need to be locked away separately but clear signing will also be necessary. Common signs include wash your hands signage and yellow warning labels denoting the area where chemicals are kept. Wet floor signs should be standard for front of house to ensure customers are aware of any slippery patches as you clean or after an accident.

Catering Business Inspections

Environmental Health Officers are responsible for inspecting food businesses due to the Food Safety Act 1990. Businesses are inspected according to Food Standards Agency guidelines.

Each inspection will result in a risk rating for your business which will then determine how often you'll be inspected in the future. Inspections take place between every six months and three years but in the worst case scenarios where businesses aren't complying at all, they can be ordered to cease trading until they're up to standard.

Slip and Trip Injuries

Slips and trips pose one of the largest risks to the catering industry. In fact they occur up to four times more in this industry than any other and are the largest cause of serious industry in the sector as a whole.

There are risks to the business such as loss of staff and potential compensation claims against the business from staff and customers.

Keeping the business clean according to Health and Safety regulations will limit the chance of this type of accident and therefore the potential risks and damage to your business.

Opening a business in the catering industry can be extremely exciting. It's your chance to unleash the food and drink you love on the public but failure to follow health and safety guidelines may mean your dream is short-lived.

Additional Links for Help & Support

Professional thermometers for caterers are available to detect and accurately display temperature in a range of formats.

Catering staff who take a pride in their appearance help contribute to a high reputation for the establishment they work in. See more on the range of Catering Workwear

The Hygiene Audit can be undertaken within any building or environment, such as the kitchen premises. The audit will evaluate the cleaning regime and the hygiene of each room, surface by surface.

Every catering establishment has a legal responsibility to ensure the food they serve is safe to consume. This responsibility can easily be compromised by poor hygiene standards. The Kitchen Hygiene Training Course will help overcome the impact if hygiene is ignored. Which could lead to a loss of business or clientele, closure or even criminal prosecution? So with all this at stake it is totally understandable that hygiene plays a prominent role in catering industry.