Why new mobile food businesses must have hand washing facilities

Handeman Xtra portable sink at the Gower Street Food Hut

Locally produced food provision is on the increase

There has been a huge increase in the numbers of mobile caterers and street food suppliers setting up in business as the pandemic gradually lessens its grip. There are however, a number of very important issues that need to be addressed by any such startup (or indeed, existing business), according to a recent article on the Farmers Weekly website.

There’s no doubt that a newly set-up catering business, when you have an exciting or original offering, can take off very quickly – but there are a number of significant initial considerations that need to be taken into account, according to Isabel Davies.

“For anyone going down this route, it is important to understand the hygiene and safety risks involved with food and the legal obligations on labelling and traceability.”

Ms Davies quotes Colin Kiddell, a member of Anglia Rural Consultants who is a food industry specialist.

He flags up the registration requirements, such as the fact that a new business must be registered with the relevant Local Authority at least 28 days before starting to trade.

Mr. Kiddel advises that it is “best practice” to talk to environmental health officer (EHO), as they are often very helpful.

“Since 2006 all food businesses must put in place and manage a system or procedures based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) principles” he advises.

The importance of hand washing facilities

Effective hand washing is deemed “essential” in order to prevent the spread of bacteria and allergens onto the food, says the article. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) emphasises the importance of hand hygiene, advocating frequent washing before handling food, and after touching uncooked food, bin emptying and going to the toilet, for example.

“The FSA advises that the best way in which food handlers can maintain good personal hygiene is by frequently washing their hands.”

Furthermore, the use of gloves “should not be considered a substitute for a thorough regime of effective hand washing” writes Davies.

If serving food from a building, an independent hand washing facility must also be made available, in addition to separate toilet washbasins.

So you want to… sell food to the public »

WashStand highly portable handwashingsolution for caterers
The WashStand – a highly portable handwashing solution for mobile caterers

Why hand washing facilities are essential for any street food business

The Nationwide Caterers Association NCASS also emphasise the importance of effective hand washing facilities for mobile catering companies. If you are thinking of venturing out with a street food business, there are five reasons why you need a hand wash unit.

“A separate hand washing facility must be provided. It must have hot and cold (or appropriately mixed running water). Alcohol gels are not acceptable on their own but can be used in addition to a hand washing system.”

The photo at the top of the page shows 5 star hygiene rated Gower Sea Food Hut and their trusty Handeman Xtra Portable hand wash unit.

Effective, highly portable hand wash units for Street Food suppliers

It is so important to have effective hand washing facilities available at the point of need.

Teal’s portable sinks are the perfect solution for the food-related and catering industries. The comprehensive range meets the most exacting requirements of any Environmental Health Officer and includes pre-heated hot water units the WashStand and the Handeman Xtra Portable that need no electricity or mains water supply.

How to choose the correct mobile sink for you »

The Teal WashStand – see how easy it is to set up and maintain!