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Gas Safety Obligations for Outdoor Catering

At Cinders Barbecues we never underestimate the importance of safety. In fact, we contributed to BSI/EN 498 which is the standard for gas barbecues and we were the only manufacturer on the European Rental Association panel which revised their LP Gas safe Code of Practice.

The information presented below is really useful whether you are a mobile catering operator, a caterer which uses free standing gas cooking equipment, a pub/restaurant or any other business which entertains clients using outdoor gas cooking equipment.

Can local Council officers close my operation?

The answer is YES. If you are operating a catering unit such as a burger van then you are obliged to ensure your gas appliances have a Gas Safe Certificate every twelve months.

If you operate equipment classed as outdoor freestanding, such as a barbecue, a Gas Safe Certificate is not appropriate under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998. HOWEVER, the council still has the power to stop your operation if it thinks you present a danger to the public. A Gas Safety Inspection Report from a Registered Gas Safe Engineer is the thing to go for.

What else can I do prevent the Council stopping me from trading?

Many people go into outdoor catering because they believe it is less restrictive, but there is still a requirement though to ensure you operate a system which ensures safe food. The Nationwide Caterers Association is a great resource for hygiene regulations.

Before purchasing, ensure that your gas barbecue or other gas cooking equipment holds the CE mark. This is the law and proves the manufacturers have conformed to stringent guidelines which result in a safe appliance. This will protect you for the first twelve months following purchase before having to have your appliances inspected, although a complex system which incorporates multiple appliances may need its own inspection report. At Cinders Barbecues we apply the CE mark in the factory under our EC Product Surveillance Certificate and our ISO9001:2008 Quality Assurance.

What are my ongoing obligations?

As a business owner you would then be expected to have a Gas Safe Certificate or a Gas Safety Inspection Report produced every year by a Gas Safe engineer who is registered to inspect LP (Propane) Gas commercial equipment. Qualified engineers can be found on the Gas Safe Register website and our own website lists approved engineers by postcode.

Owning and operating a barbecue, whether as a stand-alone catering business or as an attraction always attracts a crowd and makes money. It should be fun, enjoyable and of course produce delicious food. None of this, however, should ever come at the expense of safety.

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