Food hygiene and safety

Update COVID-19

The latest Government guidance for food businesses can be found here 

If you are a takeaway or restaurant offering a pick-up service: 

  • no orders should be taken in person on the premises - this should be communicated to customers by appropriate means such as signage
  • businesses should therefore only take orders online or by telephone
  • customers could have staggered collection times - customers should be discouraged from entering the premises until their order is ready
  • customers arriving without having already placed an order should be encouraged to leave the premises to place their order by telephone or online, and to return at a designated time for collection
  • customers whose orders are ready should enter one at a time to collect orders and make payments
  • businesses should discourage crowding outside the premises. Where possible, use queue management systems to maintain the 2 metres separation

Further advice for food deliveries and takeaways has been produced by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and is available in the attachment below.

Related documents

Starting a new food business

Starting a new food business? You must register with us at least 28 days beforehand.

If you're thinking of setting up a food business, there are many things to consider before you start selling any food. Whether you want to manufacture or process food from factory premises, open up a restaurant, sell from a mobile food van or simply cater from home you may need help from the food safety team in complying with food legislation.

Getting advice early will ensure that you are on the right track, complying with the law, and may help you to avoid mistakes that could prove to be expensive to rectify at a later date.

You will need to make sure that your food premises are suitable with good design, layout and hygiene. You will also need to make sure that you and your staff are trained and that you have proper systems in place to ensure that the food you sell is safe and of good quality - this applies whatever type of food business you run.

Food hygiene rating scheme

The scheme:

  • helps consumers to make informed choices about the places they eat at and where they buy food
  • encourages businesses to improve hygiene standards
  • works by using a simple scoring system for food businesses

Any business that receives a food hygiene inspection is given a risk rating between five and zero, depending on the standards found at the time.

Five is the highest rating, and Zero is the lowest rating.

This information is then published by the Food Standards Agency.

Food sampling

Each year we carry out food sampling to check:

  • food and drink sold in North Tyneside is safe to eat
  • that quality is what consumers should expect

We work with the Health Protection Agency and Public Analyst.

Food safety training

We hold food safety courses regularly throughout the year at the White Swan Centre, Killingworth or Langdale Centre, North Shields.

These courses are specifically aimed at food handlers covering topics such as:

  • the law
  • food safety hazards
  • temperature control
  • food handling
  • safe food storage
  • cleaning and equipment

Training is administered by North Tyneside Learning Alliance.

Operating a mobile food business

There are certain restrictions on where you can trade with a mobile food vehicle within the North Tyneside district. If you're parking on private land this must always be with the express permission of the landowner.

There may be planning constraints attached to the land so we would always advise that you check with our planning officers before coming to any agreement with a landowner.

You cannot trade from any council owned land without the permission of our Estates and Valuation Team. Permission is not normally given but there are certain permitted sites that are leased annually through a tender arrangement.

Trading from a public highway (includes footpaths, verges and lay bys) is generally prohibited but you should contact the councils Highways Team for further advice.

Safer food, better business

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has developed a 'Safer Food, Better Business' (SFBB) pack to help small business put in place food safety management procedures and to help businesses comply with food hygiene regulations.

The pack comes with a DVD which is available in 16 different languages.

Visit the Food Standards Agency.


Pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) allergen labelling from 1st October 2021.

North Tyneside Council's food safety team is working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help local businesses to prepare for changes to food allergen labelling which will come into force later this year.

On 1 October 2021, the law on allergen labelling for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) foods will change. This means that any food business selling PPDS foods will have to include full ingredients on the product label with allergenic ingredients emphasised within that list.

Also known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, the changes come following the death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse from an allergic reaction caused by a baguette. The baguette had been made on the premises, before being packed and put on display on the shop floor. At the time there was no specific allergen information on the baguette packaging, and she assumed it would be safe for her to eat.

PPDS is food which is packaged at the same place it is offered or sold to consumers and is in this packaging before it is ordered or selected. It can include food that consumers select themselves (e.g., from a display unit), as well as products kept behind a counter and some food sold at mobile or temporary outlets.

To help understand and implement the changes to food allergen labelling, businesses can seek advice and guidance from the Food Standards Agency PPDS HUB

This includes a downloadable version of a webinar for food businesses in England featuring a range of speakers including business representatives explaining what they've done to prepare for these changes and what they've learnt along the way. Various guides are also available for certain types of businesses such as fast food and takeaways, butchers, bakers, restaurants, cafes, pubs, schools and mobile establishments.

Contact Environmental health