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5 Reasons why you need a hand washing unit

Operating a mobile, street food or outside catering business?
Then you need a hand washing unit. Here’s 5 reasons why:

1. It’s a legal obligation

The legislation is very clear on hand washing when operating ANY food business.
It states that:

  •  A separate hand washing facility must be provided • It must have hot and cold (or appropriately mixed running water)
  • Alcohol gels are not acceptable on their own but can be used in addition to a hand washing system
  • Materials should be available for cleaning hands (ie anti-bacterial soap)
  • Materials should be available for drying hands (ie paper towels – not a tea towel)

    This applies regardless of the type of food business whether a gourmet street food business, roadside burger van, or vegetarian restaurant.

2. You’re less likely to give someone food poisoning

(and therefore not go to prison and/or pay a fine)

Did you know that faecal bacteria are present on 26% of hands in the UK, 14% of banknotes and 10% of credit cards?

The legislation on hand washing is there to stop food poisoning and therefore making someone very ill and at worse dying. If you don’t follow these principles and are found guilty of causing a food poisoning incident the maximum penalty is 2 year and an unlimited fine.

Mobile Hand Wash Units

3. You won’t get a good Food Hygiene Rating score

Like them or not the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is here to stay. In Wales it is now a legal obligation for all food businesses to display their score and is likely to be implemented in England and Northern Ireland. If you don’t have a separate hand washing unit then you are clearly breaking the law and at best you will not score well and at worst could be closed down.

4. It makes customers more likely to buy your food

(and therefore you’ll make more money!)

When running a mobile or street food business there’s nowhere to hide; the customers can see what you’re doing and your food hygiene practices. If customers can see that you’re regularly washing your hands they know that you care about the food you sell and those who eat it. Therefore they’re more likely to buy your food.

5. It improves the image of the industry

Historically mobile catering has had a poor reputation. Fortunately this is changing due to improved quality in catering units, food and hygiene levels. By operating properly you will be playing your part in changing the face of the industry and should see the continued growth of the industry for the benefit of us all.

You can find a wide range of hand washing units within the Store.

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Example units available in the NCASS Store

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Mini Wash


i REGULATION (EC) No 852/2004 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
ii Food Standards Agency.

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