Lawpath Blog
Legal Requirements for Food Handling in a Pop-up Cafe

Legal Requirements for Food Handling in a Pop-up Cafe

If you run your own pop-up cafe then you need to be aware of your legal requirements for food handling. Know what these are and how to guarantee compliance.

25th July 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Running a pop-up cafe requires constant consideration of your legal requirements for food handling. This includes health requirements, hygiene, storage, and the use of utensils. Read below to ensure that your business and your customers are safe.

Health Requirements

A food handler is anyone who comes into contact with food, whether that be the ingredients of a meal or the cutlery used to eat it. You must ensure that your staff take measures to prevent the contamination of the food. You can outline these requirements for your employees by having a workplace policy which details how they are to handle food.

One way of doing so is prohibiting anyone with symptoms of an illness from touching the food. This includes signs of a fever or vomiting. If they need to handle the food then make sure that measures are put in place to prevent any contamination. In instances where the food handler believes that the food was contaminated, they must notify a supervisor and dispose of the food accordingly.


Food handlers must wash their hands with hot and soapy water before touching any food and after handling raw ingredients. At all times, you must ensure that your staff avoid any unnecessary contact with the food. This includes, but is not limited to, coughing, sneezing and/or smoking around the food. Be sure that every employee covers any open wounds with a bandage or dressing and ties any long hair back. It is also suggested that all of your staff wear gloves in the kitchen.

Food Storage

You need to have measures in place to deal with the receiving, storage, processing, displaying and disposing of food. You are expected to take all practical measures to ensure that the food is safely stored. This means that food needs to be protected from any contamination, is identifiable on the premises, and is stored in the correct temperature. Potentially hazardous food, such as raw chicken, needs to be stored below 5ºC or above 60ºC. If it is left outside this range for more than 4 hours then it must be thrown out.

Use of Utensils

Separate utensils need to be used to stop cross-contamination between your ingredients. The general rule is that raw products are to be handled with separate utensils. Make sure that these utensils are thoroughly wash before any further use. For more information you may like to read more about the Food Act.


It is important to note that these regulations are legally binding, not a suggestion. You need to be aware that your business will be constantly audited by food safety auditors and can face some hefty fines, and can even face closure, if it does not meet these requirements. Remember that your business’s reputation will be on the line because no one wants to go to a cafe that gives out unhygienic and/or unsafe food. It is therefore strongly recommended that you appoint a food safety officer within your business. Their role will be to ensure that all of your food storage and handling procedures are safe, clean and meet the legal standards. That way, when you are audited you will not have to worry about making any last minute amendments.

Don’t know where to start? Contact us on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

Youstina Armanyous

Youstina is an intern at Lawpath as part of the Content Team. She is a final year Law and Social Science student (majoring in development and culture) at Macquarie University. She is interested in legal technology and policy development.