Guidance for charities and community groups

Do I need to register?

This largely depends on the type and nature of the food being handled, the frequency of operation, and who will be consuming the food.

Food law requires certain charitable and community groups supplying food to be registered with the local authority. However, for a particular food operation to require registration it must have ‘a certain continuity of activities’ and ‘a certain degree of organisation’.

This means that the provision of food less than once a month, for example a community barbecue or school fair, is not considered to have 'a certain continuity of activities' so will generally not require registration.

Similarly small-scale provision of low risk food by community or charity volunteers , such as teas, coffees, biscuits, toast etc, will not generally require registration.

However, if you are cooking and serving higher risk foods on a regular basis for vulnerable groups, such as a pensioner luncheon club serving a hot meal, or catering at an event for large numbers of people, such activities may fall into registration requirements.

If you are at all unsure whether your proposed food activity requires registration, it is best to contact us for advice first.

Guidance and advice

If you are a charity or a community group please go to the Food Standards Agency website for further information.

If you think you need to register as a food business, please contact us.