Law: Dogs in Food Premises
This article was originally written in April 2012 but was updated in March 2014.
The legislation, which makes the provisions relating to dogs in food premises is contained in Regulations (EC) No 852/2004, Annex II, Chapter IX – Provisions applicable to foodstuffs (4) as below:
Adequate procedures are to be in place to control pests. Adequate procedures are also to be in place to prevent domestic animals from having access to places where food is prepared, handled or stored (or, where the competent authority so permits in special cases, to prevent such access from resulting in contamination).
The below was received from the Food Standards Agency in Scotland in March 2014. However, this is applicable to the UK as a whole:
“Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs contains the general hygiene requirements for all food business operators from premises and facilities through to the personal hygiene of staff and also includes requirements for the food business to control pests.
These EU Regulations, are applied throughout the UK, and do not prohibit the presence of dogs in catering establishments such as pubs, restaurants and takeaways. These Regulations are implemented in Scotland by the Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006 which also do not prohibit the presence of dogs in food businesses. This decision remains at the discretion of the proprietor. However, all food businesses would be expected to take the presence of dogs (or other animals) into account where it is pertinent to food safety. This would particularly be the case in any room, such as a kitchen, where food was being handled openly.
Food businesses are responsible to ensure their own food safety management procedures identify and control risks to food hygiene such as having adequate procedures in place to prevent domestic animals from having access to places where food is prepared, handled and, or stored. The Local Authority Environmental Health Department are the competent enforcement authority for food businesses and they should be satisfied that the food business has adequate controls in place to prevent the risk of contamination.
In terms of permitting guide/assistance dogs into food premises, the FSA would advise food businesses to consider that assistance dogs are highly trained working dogs, not pets and to be mindful of the following requirements within the Disability and Discrimination Act 1995, Article 22 on premises, and discrimination in relation to premises,
(3) It is unlawful for a person managing any premises to discriminate against a disabled person occupying those premises-
(a) in the way he permits the disabled person to make use of any benefits or facilities;
(c ) by evicting the disabled person, or subjecting him to any other detriment
If you would like to obtain further information on the enforcement carried out by Scottish Local Authorities we can provide the contact details for the Local Authorities in Scotland or alternatively you may wish to access this information from this link.”
From Regulatory Policy Branch
(General Food Hygiene Policy and Animal Feed Hygiene Policy)
Food Standards Agency in Scotland
Email dated 11th March 2014
Dugs n’ Pubs: There is therefore no restriction preventing dogs from being in areas where food is being served as long as the individual business puts in place measures to prevent a dog from having access to the kitchen and food storage areas. There is no such thing as a dog licence or dog safety certificate for businesses. It is up to the individual business to assess the risk of a dog being able to access a kitchen or food storage area and determine their own policy. It may be a case that the business decides to only allow dogs in a certain area of the premises and restrict them from other areas (which is the case for some pubs and cafe’s in Edinburgh). If there is no food being prepared, handled or stored on the premises, then there is no restriction which prevents a dog entering the pub or shop. If dogs are not allowed in that particular pub or shop then it is the owners own policy and not due to “health and safety” regulations.
Further Info: Dogs in Food Premises
The below is from a Q&A page about Dogs in food premises on City of Swansea’s council website www.swansea.gov.uk
Q: What legislation is there in relation to dogs being allowed in food premises?
A: The food safety legislation relating to this issue is found in Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, which applies to all food premises and is enforced in Wales through the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006. Annex II Chapter IX requires food businesses operators to have adequate procedures in place to prevent domestic animals from having access to places where food is prepared, handled or stored, or in special cases to prevent such access from resulting in contamination.
Q: I like to take my dog for a walk, then go into a cafe for food, will I be able to take my dog in with me?
A: Whether or not to allow a pet dog into the public areas of a food business is a matter for the individual food business operator to decide. Some businesses may have a “no pets” policy; others may welcome well behaved dogs in public areas.
The below is from the Wakefield Council website:
Q. Are dogs allowed in food premises?
A. Domestic animals, including dogs, should not be allowed access to places where food is prepared, handled or stored. The law does not specify excluding animals from areas where food is ‘served’. In this case, it is up to the food business operator to decide the risks posed to food by allowing dogs into the serving area as to whether or not they are allowed on the premises. Trained Assistance Dogs e.g. guide dogs must not be refused entry as these dogs are depended upon by their owners to help them carry out day to day tasks in places such as supermarkets, restaurants, on public transport and in other public places.
You may also be interested in the Article “Dugs n’ Environmental Health” – information obtained directly from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen Council under FOI.