6 steps to managing food hygiene & safety of your pop-up
Pop-up restaurants provide a unique opportunity to showcase culinary talent, build reputation and test out new concepts. The challenge is to get trading within a short period whilst meeting food safety and hygiene regulations.
At shopping outlets like Bicester Village or Westfield London, festivals and events, there is a growing trend for quality artisan food served in all manner of quirky Citroen H vans, VW camper cars and carts.
When setting up a pop-up, it is vital to remember that the same safety standards apply as with any food business. There are no short cuts. Indeed, limited space, hot weather, and no access to electricity and running water mean that pop-ups present their own challenges. But with good planning and a spot of imagination, it is possible to create a safe, successful pop-up that foodies adore.
- Take time to select workspace design and equipment
This is key to a successful pop-up. Even when space is at a premium, raw and ready-to-eat food need to kept separately to prevent cross-contamination. Work surfaces must be kept clean and tidy during busy customer periods. Cookers, hot holding equipment and reach-in fridges should be considered for safe temperature control. And remember hand hygiene is crucial – hand sanitizer gel just won’t cut it.
- Don’t overlook fire safety
The workspace must be made of fire-resistant materials. Heating equipment kept away from combustible materials and customers. All electrics must be installed and tested by a competent person. Commercial catering LPG equipment must be installed and checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. Suitable fire-fighting equipment should always be readily to hand.
- Register pop-up with local council 28 days before trading
This applies even if you have already registered another food business. You may also need an alcohol or late night licence. Finally, make sure you acquire all relevant insurance.
- Document food safety procedures and risk assessments
Food safety management procedures based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and a health & safety risk assessment are required to ensure compliance with health & safety standards. Hazards to consider include food hygiene and allergies, burns and scalds, slips and trips and cleaning chemicals. And if an environmental health officer visits, you will need to demonstrate how control measures are monitored and maintained.
- Train staff thoroughly
Staff should be confident of food safety processes and familiar with all health & safety documentation. This ensures safety of both staff and customers.
- Conform to health & safety rules of the specific event or shopping outlet
A location with high footfall brings in the customers but may mean that deliveries to your pop-up are limited to outside of trading hours. Particular waste disposal methods may be required. Emergency evacuation procedures will also vary.
To get your pop-up quickly up and running, Pavy can help with your health & safety risk assessment, method statement or a safety inspection.
And with a simple menu of great tasting food, the perfect pitch and sunny weather – your pop-up is sure to create a buzz.