Apply to be a food market trader

Use this guide to help you find out what you need to do to become a licensed food market trader and the legal requirements that you must consider.

Design and construction

The overall aim of the design and construction of any food premises is the provision of a safe working environment with a logical forward progression of work. This includes mobile or temporary stalls and vehicles,

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.

Things to consider:

  • Stalls must be fully covered on top and its sides, including any food preparation, equipment and storage areas. This must include all extensions to food preparation, storage and wash-up areas to protect food and catering equipment from contamination.
  • Food displayed in customer areas should be suitably covered and screened to prevent contamination.
  • Adequate provision and maintenance must be made for the safe storage of food waste and other refuse, free from nuisance and infestation.
  • Rooms or 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 clean 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, and so on.
  • Suitable food grade antibacterial sanitisers or 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.
  • Cool boxes used for chilled storage of high-risk foods must be appropriately packed with ice blocks, and capable of maintaining temperature control (ideally below five degrees centigrade) for the duration of the market or event as necessary.
    Traders handling or 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 do not pose a nuisance.
  • Conveniently accessible handwashing 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 or antibacterial hand gels are not an accepted alternative to hygienic handwashing facilities.
  • Please note, all sinks and handwash basins must be supplied with a constant hot and cold (or a mix) water supply. Soap and hygienic means of drying hands must be readily available at handwash basins.
  • Suitable arrangements must be in place for the drainage of waste water.