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Food Safety Guidance for Food Banks and Pantries

Food Banks and community groups

Food Banks and community groups are supporting those in need in the local community in St Helens. If you are thinking of setting up a food bank or similar - you must ensure that you comply with the requirements set out in food safety legislation.

Food banks and community groups whether storing and / or preparing foods for the local community are required to be registered with St Helens Council, this registration should be completed at least 28 days prior to operating. More information on registering a food business can be found HERE

Any volunteers who bake cakes in their home should also register their business with St Helens Council, this can be done following the same link above.

All food businesses including food banks, pantries and community groups, are required to have a food safety management system, commensurate to the nature of the business, for example, the Food Standards Agency Safer Food Better Business caterers pack

As part of the food safety management system and when setting up a food bank or community group you must also consider:

· Allergens for products that are loose or prepared on site

· Dates - use by / best before

· Chilled / frozen storage

· Products being suitable for freezing and the correct labelling

· Cleaning, including chemicals, procedures and frequency.

· Waste disposal

· Pest control

If you choose to freeze fresh prepackaged products with a use by date you should follow the guidance detailed on the WRAP website.This website gives you information on the requirements for labelling including storage, dating and traceability.


Further information is also available on the FSA website for food banks and community groups: Food Banks and Food Safety 

If you have any questions about food safety procedures for foodbanks, pantries and community groups please contact Environmental Health by emailing