News Food Hygiene

Published on April 17th, 2012 | by Dean Carr


Food Hygiene: A guide for pubs, bars and lounges

Food hygiene is not limited to the kitchen. If you have familiarised yourself with the food hygiene legislation of the commercial kitchen – meat sourcing regulations, food preparation hygiene, washing up and cleaning procedure – why neglect the most visible part of your business? All too often, food hygiene behind the bar is forgotten about. Reading up on food hygiene legislation for bars and empowering staff through training can extent customer trust, improve your image and prevent the failure of a health inspection.

Food hygiene behind the bar:

We are all aware of the old clichés of dodgy bar snacks and salmonella in the ice bucket. Yet it usually during their most common day-to-day tasks that bar staff breach food hygiene legislation. From a glass of coke with ice and a slice, to a Mojito cocktail with mint and lime, the drinks served behind every kind of bar will inevitably be complemented with some form of foodstuff.

Don’t despair at British and EU food hygiene legalisation. These are only basic food handling tasks and the appropriate food hygiene courses reflect this- training for bar staff should be economic, affordable and conducted in a format that is convenient for you.

Food hygiene law:

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs states that the food business operator must make sure that all the food handlers working in the business are supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activities. A ‘food handler’ is defined as any person who handles or prepares food, whether it is open or packaged, including drinks and ice.

Staff working with food outside of the kitchen will almost certainly be Category A food handlers: staff who handle low-risk or wrapped foods. Category A covers store-men, waiters and waitresses, bar staff, counter staff, serving assistants, cellar-men and food delivery staff.

Before starting work for the first time, a Category A food handler must receive written or verbal instruction in the ‘essentials of food hygiene’, and should receive ‘hygiene awareness instruction’ within four weeks.

Note: Managers and other staff may also need training so that they have enough knowledge of food hygiene to instruct or supervise others.

Who may conduct inspections? 

  • The Environmental Health Departments of local authorities: Environmental Health Departments are the main regulatory body, and may conduct inspections. They have the power to take enforcement action based on these inspections.
  • Meat Standards Agency
  • Food Standards Agency

Food hygiene training courses:

With all this in mind, providing food hygiene training for staff is extremely important, but more often than not only needs to cover the fundamental knowledge required for Category A food handlers. Follow this link for more information about the half day Fundamentals of Food Hygiene (FFH) training course.

Related External Links


About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188


  1. I totally agree with you Mark, everyone who works in hospitality should have knowledge about food hygiene.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I can’t think of any law this breaks…..supermarkets do it all the time!

  3. andy baynham says:

    is it legal to have bar snacks like pieces of cheese and crisps etc on display on a bar for all customers to help themselves?

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