Call us 24/7
Watch our company video

Food Van Health and Safety: Our Guide

June 13th, 2024

Last updated: June 25th, 2024

Food vans have become a vibrant part of the UK’s food landscape, whether it’s at a festival or outside a bar or pub. Food vans offer everything from gourmet burgers to exotic street food but they all need to consider food van health and safety including regulations.

Ensuring the safety of your customers and staff is not only a legal obligation but also crucial for maintaining a good reputation and avoiding costly errors. When it comes to food, you can’t be too careful. This guide will cover essential health and safety considerations, including equipment maintenance, staff training, PAT testing, and other critical areas.

Equipment Maintenance

One of the most critical aspects of health and safety in food vans is the proper maintenance of equipment. Regular checks and servicing can prevent breakdowns and ensure that everything functions correctly. Here’s what to focus on.

Refrigeration units must be kept at the correct temperature to prevent food spoilage. Regularly check and calibrate thermometers, and clean the units to avoid any build-up of dirt or mould.

Regular maintenance of grills, fryers, and ovens is also utterly essential to prevent accidents and ensure efficient operation. Gas appliances, in particular, should be checked by a registered Gas Safe engineer at least once a year.

Water can be another important consideration for food vans, which aren’t connected to mains water. It is still important to prevent leaks and ensure a clean water supply for food preparation and cleaning.

Ensure that all electrical equipment is in good working order. Look out for any signs of wear and tear on cables and plugs, and replace damaged parts immediately. PAT testing is the main method people use to ensure that their electrical equipment is up to scratch. This involves the routine inspection and testing of electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use. It’s recommended to carry out PAT testing annually, although high-risk items may need more frequent testing.

Also, make sure you keep records of all PAT tests. This documentation can be crucial in case of an inspection or if an accident occurs, plus, you need to ensure that PAT testing is carried out by a qualified individual. This could be a trained staff member or another professional.

Staff Training

Proper training for all staff members is vital for maintaining health and safety standards. Training should cover:

  • Food Hygiene. All staff should complete a basic food hygiene course, which covers topics like proper food storage, cooking temperatures, and personal hygiene.
  • First Aid. At least one member of staff working at any time should be trained in first aid to handle any potential accidents or emergencies.
  • Fire Safety. Staff should be trained on how to use fire extinguishers and what to do in case of a fire. Regular fire drills are also recommended.

Hygiene and Cleanliness

Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is non-negotiable in the food industry. Surfaces, utensils, and equipment should be cleaned thoroughly after each use. Use appropriate cleaning products and disinfectants to kill bacteria and viruses.

Dispose of waste regularly to prevent pest infestations and unpleasant odours. Ensure that waste bins are emptied frequently and cleaned regularly, and implement measures to control pests, such as installing screens on windows and doors, using sealed containers for food storage, and arranging for regular pest inspections.

Health and Safety Policies

Establishing and adhering to comprehensive health and safety policies is crucial. These policies should include risk assessments. Conduct regular risk assessments to identify potential hazards and implement measures to mitigate them. This includes everything from slippery floors to the handling of hot oil.

Have a clear system for reporting and recording any accidents or incidents. This helps in identifying recurring issues and preventing future occurrences. You also need to check that your food van complies with all relevant health and safety regulations, including those set by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and local authorities.


Having the right insurance is good for peace of mind, and to protect your business against potential risks. Key types of insurance include:

  • Public Liability Insurance. This covers you if a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged because of your business activities.
  • Employers’ Liability Insurance. If you employ staff, this insurance is mandatory and covers you if an employee is injured or becomes ill because of their work.
  • Product Liability Insurance. This covers you if someone is harmed by a product you have sold or supplied.

Running a food van in the UK can be an exciting venture, but it comes with significant health and safety responsibilities. By focusing on equipment maintenance, training, and hygiene, and by establishing clear policies, you can ensure the safety of your customers and staff. 

Regular industry news and company updates, delivered straight to your inbox.

  Information on how we handle your data is contained in our Privacy Policy