Food registration advice for Messy Churches

Our team have had some correspondence with an Environmental Health Officer who has provided some helpful advice that Messy Church leaders need to take on board to make sure Messy Churches meet all the rules and regulations around food hygiene. We would also expect based on this guidance that all Messy Churhces would need to inform their local authorities about the level of food provision they are making.

Please ensure that your Messy Church is following your churches own policy regarding Food Hygiene and preparation.

There are two helpful PDFs they provided. The first provides guidance on whether different kinds of activities require registration with the local authority. The second is a hygiene guide for businesses.

The email in full is below:

As promised, please find attached guidance relating to food business registration. This is guidance that all local authorities should be adhering to.

As discussed, I received a call from Plymouth City Council regarding several churches within their area. They were concerned that Messy Church co-ordinators were not advising the local authority of a change in catering activity, so churches that were previous rated as low risk i.e. serving teas and coffees after services, were now catering for up to 40-70 people on a regular basis without their knowledge. As the Messy Church central office is based in the Abingdon area, they contacted ourselves to ask whether we could ensure that the correct information is being given to churches who begin providing food in this way.

I understand that your guide book encourages volunteers to obtain a food hygiene level 2 certificate before preparing food and it would also be helpful if there is also mention of the need for churches to be registered with their local authority as a food business and the need for records and safe procedures to exist. In addition to the registration guidance, I have also attached a copy of "food hygiene - a guide for businesses" which I hope you will find useful for your website.

Plymouth City Council were also concerned with the frosted grapes craft activity which mentions using raw egg white. As discussed, it is not recommended that raw egg is used and current Government advice is that everyone should avoid eating raw eggs or uncooked dishes made with them. However, this craft activity can easily be carried out safely just using pasteurised egg white instead.