Community and charity events

Information and guidance about food safety if you're planning a community or charity event.

If you are planning a charity or community event such as a street party, a school fair or fundraiser barbeque it is important that you consider all the food safety implications of that event to keep everyone as safe as you can. Our 'Community and Charity Events' guidance document includes information and advice if you're planning one of these events. 

Event organisation

If you handle, prepare, store or serve food occasionally it is unlikely that you will need to register as a food business. Please get in touch with your local authority food safety team for more information. You may need to register with your local authority as a food business if you provide food on a regular and organised basis.

Food safety

Following the “4Cs” of food hygiene, cleaning, chilling, cooking and avoiding cross-contamination will help you prepare, make and store food safely.

Vulnerable groups

It is important to understand who you are serving because some people are more susceptible to getting food poisoning or becoming seriously unwell with it.

Vulnerable persons are those at a higher risk of food poisoning, usually because their immune system does not work so well. These include people who are pregnant, children under 5, elderly people and those with certain long-term medical conditions or on particular drug treatments.


Food allergens cannot be removed by cooking, so it is important that they are managed carefully.

It is best practice to provide a list of the allergens present in foods for those attending the event.

We have free online food allergy training that you might find useful.

Cooking and preparation

Whether it is an event that has a barbeque, buffet or baked goods there is specific advice to follow for the preparation and serving of these foods to keep your attendees safe.

Storage and transportation

Food should be transported in clean suitable containers and kept out of the fridge for the shortest time possible.  If possible, use clean cool bags and boxes for transporting food.

More on this topic


Online Allergy Training

Welcome to Food Standards Scotland online allergen training tool