If you’re thinking about hiring a mobile cocktail bar for your party, you might have lots of questions. One important thing to ask is whether the bar has the right certificates for food safety.
Of course, you’ll also want to know how much it costs, if it’s available on your chosen day, and if it makes tasty cocktails! But it’s just as important to make sure the cocktail company follows the latest rules for keeping food and drinks safe for your guests.
This guide is here to help you understand what you need to know. We’ll talk about the rules and show you how to be sure that the food and drinks at your event are safe and meet the highest standards.
Why Food Hygiene Matters Even Just For Drinks In Mobile Bars
In bars and mobile bars, it’s super important to handle food and drinks in a way that keeps people safe from getting sick due to bacteria or viruses.
Did you know that around 2.4 million people in the UK get sick from food every year? That’s a lot! People working in places like bars need to do everything possible to make sure customers stay safe.
Even in a mobile bar, there are risks you might not think about. Here are a few examples:
1. Unwashed Fruit Garnish
Imagine a fruit garnish that hasn’t been washed and might have chemicals for insect and animals in it. Yikes!
2. Dirty Ice Cube Machine
If the ice machine is not constantly cleaned, it can make the ice cubes dirty and unsafe to use. Nobody wants contaminated ice!
3. Expired or Mishandled Dairy Products
Using dairy products that are past their sell-by date or not stored in the right way can be risky. It’s important to keep things fresh and cool.
4. Sick Staff Handling Glasses
If a staff member is sick with food poisoning and handles glasses and drinks, that’s a big problem.
There are different illnesses like norovirus, salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli that businesses need to be careful about. These illnesses spread fast, and if they happen, many people could get sick.
In the best situation, getting food poisoning can just make a night out terrible. But in the worst case, it might even lead to people going to the hospital or having more serious health problems.
Especially with COVID-19 around, hygiene has become even more important. Customers want to be sure that the bar is clean, and the staff are taking good care of themselves.
So, keeping things clean and safe is not just about having a good time but making sure everyone stays healthy and happy!
Understanding Food and Drink Safety Rules for Mobile Bars
When it comes to mobile bars, there are rules to follow to make sure the food and drinks are safe for everyone. Let’s look at some important laws:
1. Food Safety Act 1990
This law makes it illegal to offer food or drinks that can harm people’s health. Even if the bar company doesn’t know it’s harmful, it’s against the law. Selling something different from what the customer asked for, like giving regular coke instead of diet coke, is also not allowed.
2. General Food Law Regulation (EC) No 178/2002
This used to be an EU rule, but now it’s part of UK law after Brexit. Businesses can’t sell or supply food or drinks that are not safe for people to eat. Bars also need to keep records of where they get their food and drinks from.
3. Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013
This law lets local councils stop food businesses, including portable bars, from selling food and drinks if they don’t follow hygiene practices. We’ll talk more about this later.
Food Safety Certificates and Training
While it’s not a must for staff in mobile bars to have food safety certificates, it’s important for bars to train their staff in food hygiene. Training helps them do their job safely. A food hygiene course covers things like:
- Storing food correctly
- Personal hygiene and proper work clothes
- Thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the bar
- Preventing food poisoning
- Identifying and stopping pests
- Avoiding cross-contamination
- Safely getting rid of waste
- Correct procedure of transport and storing ice
Courses can be done in person or online and usually need renewing every three years. If you’re hiring a mobile bar, don’t hesitate to ask for proof of food safety certificates. All staff must have at least Food Hygiene Certificate Level 2.
How Mobile Bars Prove They Follow Food Hygiene Rules
All mobile bars, like other food businesses, must register with their local council. The council’s environmental health officer (EHO) might check the warehouse/office. The inspection can happen every six months to two years, depending on the risk. The council can also inspect anytime, especially if someone complains.
The EHO checks if the place of work and preparation is clean, if the fruit is stored right, if there are no pests, and if waste is thrown away safely. After the check, the mobile bar gets a score from 0 to 5. A 5 means the bar is very clean, while a 0 means urgent improvements are needed.
They will 100% check the ice machine and legal documents must be provided to them about how the staff transport ice for the events.
After the check, the EHO gives advice on how to get a better score. If there’s a risk to public health, the council can close the business until things are fixed.
The company must also hold an alcohol license to be fully legal and free to operate safely
Here’s a tip: Before you book a bar company, check their food hygiene rating. If it’s a 5, it’s a good sign that the staff and management are serious about their client’s safety. You can search for food hygiene rating scores to be sure.