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9 UK Commercial Kitchen Regulations You Need to Know About

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If your business is one with kitchen or catering facilities, then you’ll most likely know that your responsibilities as a manager span wider than most. Commercial catering kitchens in the UK are having to adhere to more and more regulations, designed to help protect staff and consumers alike, so it’s essential that you and your business are in-the-know.

Complying with legislation is important; failure to do so could result in fines, negative publicity or even a prison sentence, so businesses need to ensure they stay on top of this ever-changing information.

Take a look at some of the key commercial kitchen regulations you’ll need to adhere to.

Food Hygiene (The Food Safety Act 1990)

Practicing good food hygiene is the best way to prevent food poisoning, so it’s important to follow regulations surrounding this closely. An easy way to remember these regulations is to think about the 4 Cs:

  • Cleaning – Food areas need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Make sure kitchen staff clean as they go, and don’t allow food waste to build up.
  • CookingCook meat thoroughly to remove the risk of harmful bacteria in the middle. It’s generally good practice to cook food until it has a core temperature of 70°C.
  • ChillingSome foods should be kept chilled to prevent bacteria growth. Pay attention to any use-by dates, and ensure that cooked dishes, salads and desserts are kept in the fridge.
  • Cross-contaminationMake sure that raw meat does not drip onto ready-to-eat food. Contamination can also happen if you use the same equipment for different types of food, so be sure your chefs keep these separate.

Kitchen Ventilation (The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992)

Due to the large amounts of fumes and vapours that can be produced, every commercial kitchen needs to have suitable and effective ventilation, in the form of a canopy or other ventilation system. They’re equally important in helping to disperse heat and bring cool, clean air into the environment.

All ventilation systems should remove cooking fumes at the source, without causing discomfort from strong draughts. They must also be easy to clean, as well as vibration free.  

Waste Disposal (Building Regulations 2000 pt H – Drainage & Waste Disposal (2002 edition)

Legislation states that you must remove waste quickly and efficiently from kitchen areas, and place it in containers that can be closed. You’ll need suitable facilities, like wheelie and recycling bins, and to be able to dispose of your waste in a hygienic way.

You’ll also need to properly dispose of fats and oils; utilise grease traps where possible and ensure that oil is collected by an Environmental Agency licensed carrier.

Slips and Trips (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (Regulation 3)

The most common cause of injury in the workplace, slips and trips must be protected against in a commercial kitchen. You need to be vigilant about potential risks; food spillages should be cleaned up promptly, use drip trays to combat leaks or overflowing sinks, and make sure obstacles aren’t lying around on the floor.

Gas Safety (Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998)

All gas appliances need to be CE marked to prove that they are safe for use. Everyone who installs or maintains appliances must be Gas Safe registered, and will need to be able to produce the relevant certificates to prove it.

Fire Safety (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005)

Commercial kitchens contain numerous fire hazards, so it’s important to have a fire safety regime in place. Cooking appliances need to be fixed in place and attended at all times, while deep fat fryers must have a metal lid. There must also be appropriate fire-fighting equipment within the kitchen, such as a chemical extinguisher and fire blanket.  

Personal Hygiene (The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013)

High standards of personal hygiene are essential to keeping food safe. This means that clothing needs to be clean and suitable for the job, and employees’ hair should be tied back with suitable covering such as a hair net.

Handwashing is essential, as it helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria. There should be a separate sink in which employees can wash their hands, and every person who comes into contact with food needs to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly and frequently.

Refrigeration (F Gas Regulations 2007/2015)

Initially implemented in 2007, with revisions in 2015, the F Gas Regulations set out to limit damage to the environment caused by leakages of F Gases from commercial catering refrigerators.

The regulations are a legal requirement that makes manufacturers responsible for ensuring the usage of damaging gases in refrigerators is reduced, as well as holding operatives and business owners accountable for having equipment regularly tested and maintained.

Your FM or catering equipment management consultants will keep a record of inspections and repairs, which will help schedule future maintenance and ensure adherence to the regulations.

Equipment Maintenance (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998)

You’ll need to carry out regular maintenance of your catering equipment to ensure it’s fit for purpose. Regulations state that all equipment should be regularly checked for wear and tear, and serviced where necessary. All safety-critical repairs need to be carried out by a qualified service engineer. Our preventative maintenance service is a cost-effective solution to help you adhere to equipment regulations.

If you need any help with understanding UK regulations, or are interested in learning how we can help with your commercial catering equipment needs, just contact us online or give us a call on 0844 811 1255.