Carousel, London: unforgettable adventures in flavour

Ask the experts – do I need food certifications?

I have an idea for a food pop up but I’m not sure about the certifications I might need to trade with food, can you help?

It all starts with the space you choose to pop up into. There are 3 main things to consider.

Firstly, In order to be a legal food vendor, you must register your business and the site you will be serving in with your local council. This is so they can pay you a visit to be sure you’re following all the health and safety standards. The same goes for the place you are storing your food (if this is different).

For example, Hackney Council asks for 28 days notice before you plan to start trading, so get your application in as soon as you’ve found your spot. We did ask if it was possible to open sooner and they sounded like this timeframe could be flexible.

Secondly, if you’d like to pop up on the move, you’ll need a Street or Market licence from your local council.

Finally, in order to handle food for public consumption you must get a food hygiene certificate. A course with Hackney Council costs £65 but you can search for other places to train up too. 

We spoke to our local Council – Hackney – to get the skinny on what it takes to pop up, but we suggest you confirm these details with your local council as each local authority will vary slightly. You can go on to the website of the Council in which your pop up will be based, and search for ‘food safety’ or ‘food licensing’ and you’ll find the contact details and information you need.

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?
Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

Blog button