Food Safety Checklist: Selling Food at Festivals and Markets

Table of Contents

Today, I’m going to share the key things you need to have with you if you plan to sell food at an event such as a festival or market.

Some events may have food safety auditors who will come around and check that food safety is being ensured. Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) from the local council may also visit an event and carry out checks.

If you’re planning to sell food at festivals and farmers markets, there are several key things you need to keep in mind to ensure food safety and compliance with regulations. Based on my extensive experience in food safety at large events, I’ve compiled a checklist of the key things that I would often be checking and expecting to see at food festivals.

Remember, requirements can vary between events or venues, some may have stricter requirements than others. It is worth checking with the event organiser beforehand to find out what are the requirements and if they are going to be providing facilities like a communal wash up areas or chillers.

Here are the key things to prepare:

1. Food Safety System: Always have your food safety system, such as your “Safer Food Better Business” pack, with you at the event. Ensure that you and your staff follow it in practice.

Safer Food Better Business pack

2. Up-to-Date Records: Keep detailed and up-to-date records. The specific records you’ll need depend on the type of food you’re serving. For instance, if you have food items that need to be kept chilled or you’re cooking on-site, you’ll need temperature records or delivery temperatures to show that your food was transported and stored safely, as well as cooked to the correct temperatures.

temp record

3. Food Hygiene Training Certificates: Bring copies of your food hygiene training certificates for you and your staff (if you have any).


4. Allergen Information: Have clear allergen information available for your products. If you need more information about allergens, you can check the Food Standards Agency website.

allergen record

5. Allergen Signage: Display a sign advising customers to ask about any food allergies or intolerances.

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6. Sanitiser: Make sure you have a sanitiser that complies with either BS EN 1276 or BS EN 13697 to clean your food preparation surfaces. This is essential if you’re handling open food.


7. Wash Hand Basin: Depending on your operations, you might need a wash hand basin with hot water, soap, and paper towels. This is important if you’re handling open food or doing food preparation and cooking. However, if all your food items are wrapped or are low risk items (i.e. cupcakes) handled with tools like tongs, you may not need a wash hand basin.

wash hand

8. Probe Thermometer and Wipes: If you’re cooking food, you’ll need a probe thermometer and probe wipes to check that your food is being cooked to safe temperatures.

probe wipes

9. Cooking, Hot Holding, and Refrigeration Equipment: Ensure you have the appropriateequipment for cooking, hot holding, and refrigeration, depending on the food you’re serving.


10. Correct Labeling and Storage: Make sure your food is correctly labeled, stored, and covered to protect it from contamination.

dry good storage

Do bear in mind that Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) can turn up unannounced at events, and they are going to expect you to be managing food safety properly. While this checklist provides a general overview, the specifics can vary based on the type of food you’re selling and the event’s requirements. Always check with the event organiser to ensure you’re fully prepared.





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