Serving food outside: what you need to know

Summer is in full swing, and with many churches now hosting outside events, there’s never been a better time to get clued up on barbecue and food safety outdoors

Barbecues, bonfires and outside food festivals are a wonderful way to bring your community together, enlighten the lives of those who may feel isolated and enjoy the warmer months outside. But, with most run by volunteers and members of your congregation, it’s important to keep everyone safe, ensuring your outside events run smoothly.

And while hygiene is essential in your church kitchen, clean hands are also a must while eating outside – but with our Personalised Hand Sanitisers, you can make it even simpler to keep the germs at bay. Choose from a manual or automatic dispensing machine in a variety of 17 stunning colours to ensure your guests are well fed and well looked after.


Summer barbecues
During July and August, there’s nothing more delicious than sausages sizzling on a barbecue and burgers served up in toasted buns. But to make sure your community event goes ahead without a hitch, it’s vital that you put one person in charge of the barbecue – this means, it must never be left unattended, particularly when children and pets are in the vicinity. It’s also a good idea to keep a bucket of water or sand nearby should an emergency occur. And, if rain is inevitably forecast, don’t be tempted to take your barbecue inside a tent or enclosed shelter – stick with the good old fashioned umbrella – this way, you can be sure that any fuel fumes won’t affect anyone at your event. Or, you could take always abandon the barbecue and make use of your church kitchen – this way, you can be sure that your guests stay dry and your food is safely cooked.


Night-time bonfires
Whether it’s your Cubs pack or just a monthly get-together with your congregation, gathering around a bonfire is an excellent way of creating that sense of community. But avoid toasting marshmallows or heating up jacket potatoes on a naked flame – always wait until the fire has died down to a hot bed of embers, and ensure you put them out with water when you have finished. You’ll know the embers are cold once the steam and hissing noises stop – never touch them with your hands.

And remember, while there are no laws against having a bonfire and you don’t need a permit, you could be fined if you light a fire and allow the smoke to drift across the road, becoming a danger to traffic. But if the land surrounding your church is big enough, and you have the space to enjoy a community bonfire this summer, you shouldn’t have a problem.


No permit necessary
As with food supplied at your church café or your large Christmas event, all food sold or provided at your outside community parties must still comply with food law and be safe to eat. However, if you’re only planning a small-scale barbecue or you’re using your church kitchen to supply the Brownies with home-baked cookies for their annual sleepover, you shouldn’t need to register as a food business. And while you don’t need a food hygiene certificate to make or sell food at small events, you and your volunteers do need to handle food safely.


Celebrating with food always brings a community together, and at Steelplan Kitchens, we are ready to start planning your new kitchen to bring your next event to life – call us on 0844 809 9186


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