This guide is for food traders who wish to trade at an event or market in Lambeth. Find out about what you need to do and the legal requirements to need to consider.

These requirements are the same whether operating from a commercial site, market stall, domestic kitchen or a combination of sites/premises.

All new food businesses in the UK must register with their local authority at least 28 days before they intend to start trading. You should complete the food traders questionnaire and return it to the food safety team at the council.

Food hygiene, standards and health and safety inspections of food premises are a legal obligation placed on food authorities and an inspection will be carried before you start trading as a market trader. Compliance is monitored through routine inspections at which time failure to meet the standards expected may prevent you from trading at future Markets in Lambeth.

Contact the market operator directly to discuss pitch availability/suitability.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Food market traders questionnaire

All food market traders must to complete and return the food market traders questionnaire before you start trading at a market or event in Lambeth.

All types of food market traders must submit the form, including retailers of produce such as fruit and vegetables, drinks and cheese

The completed form should be returned to us at least four weeks (28 days) before you want to start trading.

2. Design and Construction

The overall aim of the design and construction of any food premises including mobile/temporary stalls and vehicles is the provision of a safe working environment with a logical forward progression of work. The design must eliminate risk of cross-contamination of foods at all stages of preparation, processing, storage, delivery and sale. Design and construction of the premises must also prevent the entry and infestation by pests or domestic animals.

  • Stalls must be fully covered to top and sides including any food preparation/equipment/food storage areas. This must include all extensions to food preparation/storage/ wash up areas to protect food and catering equipment from contamination.
  • Food displayed in customer areas should be suitably covered and/or screened to prevent contamination.
  • Adequate provision must be made for the safe storage of food waste and other refuse, free from nuisance and infestation and maintaining such collection.
  • Rooms/areas where food is prepared, treated or processed should generally have surface finishes that are smooth, impervious, durable and which can be kept clean and, where necessary, disinfected.
  • There must be an adequate supply of potable water (mains drinking water).
  • Reusable water storage containers must be regularly disinfected to prevent contamination.
  • Sufficient sinks and washing up equipment must be provided for food preparation use and washing of pots, utensils, etc.
  • Suitable food grade antibacterial sanitisers/disinfectants should be available to facilitate cleaning and disinfection.
  • Chafing dishes should be for hot holding purposes only and are not considered an appropriate means of reheating food.
  • Coolboxes used for chilled storage of high risk foods must be appropriately packed with ice blocks and capable of maintaining temperature control (ideally below 5 degrees centrigrade) for the duration of the market/event as necessary.
    *Traders handling/preparing high risk foods must have suitable temperature monitoring equipment available such as an independent probe thermometer.
  • Adequate natural and/or artificial lighting must be available to facilitate safe food handling practices.
  • Adequate natural and/or mechanical ventilation must be available. This is to reduce high humidity, room temperatures, cooking odours, and airborne particles. Hot food traders must ensure smoke or odours from cooking activities doe not pose a nuisance.
  • Conveniently accessible wash hand facilities must be provided in areas where food is prepared, treated or processed dependent on the size and nature of the business. The use of gloves is not an accepted alternative to hygienic hand washing facilities.
    Please note all sinks and wash hand basins must be supplied with constant hot and cold or appropriately mixed, water supply. Soap and hygienic means of drying hands must be readily available at wash hand basins. Suitable arrangement must be in place for the drainage of waste water. The use of disposable gloves and/or the use of antibacterial hand gels are not an accepted alternative to the provision of hygienic hand cleaning facilities.

3. Food safety management (HACCP)

HACCP stands for ‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point’. It is an internationally recognised and recommended system of food safety management. It focuses on identifying the ‘critical points’ in a process where food safety problems (or ‘hazards’) could arise and putting steps in place to prevent things going wrong. This is sometimes referred to as controlling hazards. Keeping records is also an important part of HACCP systems. As a food business operator you must:
* ensure that all food is sold in a hygienic manner
* identify food safety hazards
* understand which steps in your operation are critical for food safety
* make sure that at these steps safety controls are in place, maintained and reviewed.

Food safety hazards are anything, which may cause harm to their customers through illness or injury. This is the potential to cause food poisoning, the presence in food of foreign material, such as glass or metal and chemical contamination.
The controls for these hazards do not have to be complex and there are a number of systems that can be used by food businesses to ensure that hazards are identified and ways found of controlling them.

There a number of standard documented food safety management systems in use. One example being Safer Food Better Business which can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website, Food Standards Agency website Or you may be able to use your own bespoke system. However, whichever system you choose to use must comply with the following requirements: Article 5 of Regulation (EC) 852/2004 requires food business operators to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) principles to ensure the food they produce is safe.

Some foods require additional control measures such as burgers to be served less than thoroughly cooked, sushi and oysters etc, will require additional consideration to ensure specific legislative requirements and industry guidance are met. Unless you are able to satisfy Lambeth's Food Health and Safety Team that adequate controls will be in place throughout, we would not permit such products to be sold at Lambeth markets/events.

4. Health and safety

Fire hazards

All combustible materials that could promote fire spread need to be identified and stored away from any ignition source. Structures, curtains and drapes should be treated with a flame retardant. Appropriate fire extinguishers must be provided and checked every 12 months. The following is required:

  • Stalls cooking food – 4kg dry powder or four litres of foam. If deep fat frying is taking place, it is recommended that you fit a flame failure device and also a suitable fire blanket
  • Stalls with generators/electrical equipment – 4kg dry powder or Carbon Dioxide CO2
  • Stalls not cooking food – 4.5 litres of water

Traders should undertake a fire risk assessment to ensure appropriate fire safety equipment is available commensurate to the size and nature of their business activities.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

Gas fixtures and systems require appropriate certification from a competent person who is gas safety registered for LPG commercial appliances. Gas appliances should be checked routinely. Please note - Traders wishing to use LPG must provide evidence of their LPG certification before they are permitted to trade at a Lambeth Event or Market. Gas safe registered engineers can be found via the gas safety register, see the link on section 3(h) of the questionnaire. Please note the engineer must be registered to work on non-domestic mobile catering appliances.

Cooking equipment must be sited to the rear of side of stalls on stable ground, with barriers to protect the public from burns and flame. BBQ's , if permitted, must be sited away from any flammable material.

Please note - the use of charcoal is restricted on some sites in Lambeth and the possibility of using it should be discussed directly with the relevant market\event organiser.

5. Food hygiene training

Food handlers must receive appropriate supervision, and be instructed and/or trained in food hygiene, to enable them to handle food safely. The training must be appropriate for the type of food activities undertaken. For traders preparing open foods this training will be a minimum of level 2 food safety or equivalent rather than a retail food qualification. Those responsible for developing and maintaining the business' food safety procedures, based on HACCP principles.

6. Lambeth markets and events

Contact the relevant market operator directly to discuss pitch availability and suitability.:

Markets office: 020 7926 6108
Events team: events@lambeth.gov.uk

We have exciting events and markets across the borough, including.