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The Nationwide Caterers Association

Takeaway Catering

The UK's fastest growing fixed site catering sector

Takeaways have been providing tasty delights ever since people started living in cities. And with such low entry barriers, the industry just keeps on growing.

But getting to grips with tricky documentation and training can put a strain on any business owner. That's where we can help you.

Legal checklist for mobile caterers

Find out what you need to do to start up and operate your takeaway legally.
> Click here and learn how to get legal

Happy staff means higher profits. Find out how to keep yours smiling.
> Click here for more information

What do you need for your inspection?

Find out what you need to get through your EHO's inspection and maintain food hygiene.
> View the checklist

Improve the marketing for your catering business

Marketing matters. Improve yours to increase profits with these solutions.
> Click here for marketing tips

Takeaway premises are high risk environments

Get Insurance

High numbers of customers coming in and out, dangerous cooking equipment and high numbers of staff make them so.

You should protect your business with various insurance covers - so that nothing ever has to get in the way of serving customers your delicious food.

Call 0121 603 2524 for your quote & honest advice

Tweets to NCASS from happy customers

Surely Not?!

Online training courses for you and your staff. Council-audited documentation to help you trade safely and legally. One place online to store all of your documents and send them to EHOs. Phone support whenever you need it. A logo that immediately makes EHOs think you’re going to be compliant. You couldn’t get all this in one place, could you? Yep, you could. Click here to find out how.

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Latest News

Summer trading: How to keep food safe as the temperature rises

by Sophie Haigh | Read Time: 5 Minutes | Jun 27, 2019

Hot weather provides the perfect opportunity for bacteria to grow, so it’s crucial that over the next few months you keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until they are ready to be eaten.

We’ve put together a list of check points to ensure you’re keeping you and your staff safe as temperatures rise. You’d be well advised to make sure your staff are also aware of the dangers of rapid bacteria growth and contamination from insects during the summer.

Keeping food safe from contamination

Keeping and displaying food properly is pivotal if you want to lower the risk of contamination. Covering food or keeping it screened where possible will protect it from contamination from insects, birds and animals. Remember, you should never store food on the floor.

When there’s no access to electricity

If you don’t have access to electricity in your catering van, cool boxes are the next best thing for keeping food chilled during transportation and when stationary on site. You will need adequate freezer packs to prevent the food from rising above 8°C or 46°F. Make sure to take enough freezer packs so that you can replace them two or three times throughout the working day to keep the temperature inside the cool box within the 8°C limit.

A probe thermometer is also a necessity if you’re using cool boxes, as it checks to see if the temperature inside is safe to be storing food.  Make sure to check the temperature at regular intervals and record it in the daily recording diary – found in your NCASS Due Diligence folder. Remember to always replace the lid of the cool box immediately after opening and removing an item.

Cool boxes should also be kept out of sunlight and away from any sources of heat to give your food the best chance of remaining fresh and at the safe temperature limit.

Temperature regulations for food products

It’s crucial to keep food at the right temperature before and during preparation to remain safe. Failure to do so will provide the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to grow, or for toxins, i.e. poisons, to form in the food, causing your customers to become seriously ill. Make sure that both you and your staff know that:

  • Hot food must be kept above 63°C (145°F)
  • Chilled food must be kept at or below 8°C (46°F), preferably below 5°C (41°F)
    You might already be aware that when you’re serving or displaying food there is a little bit of leeway for keeping them out of temperature controls at times for a limited period, although we don’t recommend letting food drop or rise to these temperatures.

  • Hot food can be kept below 63°C (145°F) for a maximum of 2 hours if completely necessary
  • Chilled food can be kept above 8°C (46°F) for a maximum of 4 hours but try to prevent this from happening if possible

It goes without saying that you must never exceed these times and temperatures. If you do, dispose of the food straight away as they could be dangerous to eat.

The temperature requirements in Scotland vary slightly, but in all four corners of the UK it’s an offence to keep food at temperatures that would cause a risk to health.

Other key things to remember

  • When you use a temperature probe to check the temperature of the foods you’re chilling or keeping hot, be sure to clean and disinfect the probe thoroughly before use. We recommend using a commercial grade cleaner, as they fight germs both quickly and efficiently. Cheap products unfortunately just won’t cut it as they take a long time to kick in and take effect – not ideal when you’re having to work quickly to serve up food
  • When cooking, the food must achieve a minimum core temperature of 75°C (167°F)

Join from just

per month

Join Online >


Find out more >

Want to chat about membership? Call us on 0121 603 2524

How to start and run a mobile catering business