Here’s a piece of news which will be interest to all our friends in other churches as well as those here at Agnew Road who do a brilliant job in food preparation..
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published community and charity food provision – guidance on the application of EU food hygiene law. It advises that the rules should only apply to undertakings, the concept of which implies a certain continuity of activities and a certain degrees of organisation. Those who handle, prepare, store and serve food occasionally and on a small scale (e.g. a church, school or village fair and other situations such as organised charities comprising individual volunteers where the food is prepared occasionally) cannot be considered as ‘undertakings’ and are therefore not subject to the requirements of community hygiene legislation. The guide sets out FSA’s views on the terms ‘a certain continuity of activity’ and ‘a certain degree of organisation’ and examples of food provision FSA considers do or do not require registration.
A very useful series of questions and answers on food preparation at charity events is also found on the FSA website at: http://www.food,gov.uk/hygguid/charity-community groups/
The above information is contained in the Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers’ (ACAT) newsletter. The ACAT text is covered by a disclaimer over accuracy etc. Further, this contributor’s comment is that should ‘something go wrong’ like, a case of food poisoning, an infestation, poor storage etc it is certain authorities will come down hard despite the registration ‘opt out’ suggested in the advice given. Therefore, standards are standards and no organisation can avoid food standards compliance (with or without requiring the ‘registration’.)