Catering for street parties and church fetes

Catering for street parties and church fetes information is intended to help organisers of one-off events to achieve good standards of food hygiene. Although the event is unlikely to be covered by food hygiene regulations, organisers must ensure that the food which is provided is safe to eat.

Preparing food at home

Good hygiene is very important and you should always do the following things:

  • Wash your hands before preparing food and avoid wearing jewellery and false or painted nails
  • Wear clean clothes and aprons/over clothing
  • Tie long hair back
  • Keep pets out of the kitchen
  • Never handle food if suffering from a stomach upset or skin infection (Leave 48 hours after suffering food poisoning symptoms before preparing food)
  • Make sure all worktops are clean before preparing food
  • Avoid preparing high risk foods* such as sandwiches a long time in advance, especially if you do not have fridge space to store them
  • If there is no fridge space available, store sandwiches, cream cakes and other high risk foods* in a cool box with ice blocks and try to keep them below 8oC
  • Keep ready to eat foods such as cakes and biscuits away and above any raw food, especially raw meat
  • Always cook foods thoroughly and cool them down as soon as possible if they are not going to be eaten straight away
  • Keep food covered, preferably in a sealed container while you transport it to the venue
  • Never leave sandwiches or other high risk foods* in a hot car or car boot

At the venue

  • If the event is taking place outside, plan in advance how you will manage food safety in adverse weather conditions. Wind, rain or very hot conditions can all impact on food safety. Is it possible to relocate the catering activity indoors if necessary?
  • Is there a wash hand basin close by, with constant supplies of hot and cold water, soap and paper towels or other means to dry hands? Hand washing is a very important safety precaution, so what facilities will be provided if there is no wash hand basin? Plastic bowls are usually acceptable provided that hot and cold water is always available and bowls are emptied after each use. 
  • Is there enough clean worktop or table space to display foods safely and to avoid keeping food containers on the ground?
  • Use clean tongs, cake slices to serve food


If you intend to have a barbeque at your event, please contact the Food Health and Safety Team for further advice as barbeques can result in additional risks to food safety

*High risk foods

High risk foods are foods which can support the growth of bacteria and which are going to be eaten without any further cooking. For a church fete or street party, high risk foods might include:

  • Sandwiches with fillings like cooked meats, egg, tuna and so on.
  • Cooked meats and meat products like chicken wings/drumsticks, sausages.
  • Pies and savoury pastries such as sausage rolls, pasties, quiche.
  • Barbeque foods, once they are ready to eat.
  • Cream cake.
  • Desserts containing cream like gateau.

Event organisers should ensure that anyone involved in preparing food for an event understand the basics of good food hygiene and that they prepare and handle all high risk foods carefully.

Last updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2021.