Bed and Breakfast establishments


This information produced by the Food and Occupational Health Team provides guidance on the food safety and health and safety requirements that apply to Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs).

Please note that this information does not cover fully those B&Bs that do evening meal food preparation or that employ any members of staff. For further information or advice please do not hesitate to contact the Environmental Health Unit. See our contact details, link relating to health and safety and other relevant links at the bottom of this page.

General information on starting a food business is available from the Food Standards Agency website.

Food Safety

The main legislation to be complied with is the Food Safety (England) Regulations 2006.

Food premises registration

All bed and breakfast establishments must register with the Environmental Health Unit.  Please click on the related links section below for further information (Registration of Food Businesses).  Food premises registration is free of charge and must be renewed on change of ownership.

Inspection topics

The main food hygiene requirements and topics that the inspecting officer may wish to discuss and will be assessing during a routine food hygiene inspection are:

The kitchen

  • All surfaces must be capable of being effectively cleaned. Domestic kitchen units that are in a good condition are normally of an acceptable standard.
  • Carpeting is not recommended for kitchen floors, but where it is used, it must be kept clean and in a good condition. It is strongly recommended that the next time the floor covering is due for replacement an easy to clean (washable) floor surface should be provided.
  • It is recommended that food equipment and utensils should not be stored underneath the sink unit due to the potential risk of contamination from waste water.
  • Ideally washing machines or tumble dryers should not be located in the kitchen area. If an alternative location cannot be found, then these activities must be carried out at a separate time to any food preparation and the work surface thoroughly cleaned before recommencing food preparation. Dirty laundry must not be stored in the kitchen area.

Handling practices

  • Personal hygiene must be of a high standard at all times; this includes the wearing of appropriate clothing, and the removal of any jewellery;
  • Wash hands before food preparation, after handling raw meat or eggs, and pets, and after going to the toilet etc.;
  • Do not carry out any food preparation activities when suffering from sickness and/or diarrhoea, including the 48 hours after the last bout of symptoms.
  • Effective cleaning must be carried out, and it is recommended that a suitable disinfectant / sanitiser is available for use.
  • Due to the potential risk of contamination, pets should not be allowed in or fed in the kitchen area. If this cannot be prevented, then all surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned before food preparation begins.

Food Safety Management

To help small catering establishments comply with the Hygiene Regulations the Food Standards Agency have developed a food safety management pack called 'Safer Food Better Business'.  For further information please click on the Food Standards Agency link in the related links section below.

Temperature control

Refrigerator: The legal requirement is that 'high risk' foods such as meat, dairy products and food items which the manufacturer states keep refrigerated, must be kept at a temperature of 8°C or below. It is recommended that a thermometer should be available to take the temperature of any units that you have. When taking the air temperature, a satisfactory temperature range would be between 06°C, as the temperature of the food items may be 1-2°C higher.

It is a strong recommendation that the temperature of the fridge is recorded on a regular basis, so that any deficiencies in performance can be identified and dealt with immediately, and also it could form as part of a 'due diligence defence' showing that all reasonable precautions have been taken.

You must also ensure that:

  • To minimise any possible cross contamination raw meat must be kept below or separate to cooked/ready to eat foods.
  • All food items should be kept covered if practicable to prevent any possible contamination.
  • A suitable stock rotation system must be in place.


  • Eggs should be stored in the fridge.
  • Defrosting of food should be carried out in the fridge, if not practicable then food should be left at room temperature for as short a time as possible.
  • Freezer; The recommended operating temperature should be -18 to -21°C, and the freezer unit should be defrosted on a regular basis. Manufacturer's star ratings guidance on storage times must be adhered to.

Food hygiene training

Food handlers must be supervised, instructed and / or trained in food hygiene to a level appropriate to their work. To comply with this it is strongly recommended that the main food handler undertakes the Basic Food Hygiene Certificate course or equivalent.

Refresher courses are available to update any existing training.

Please click on the Food Hygiene Training related link at the bottom of this page for further information.


To sell alcohol from the premises you must comply with the Licensing Act 2003. For further information on the Licensing Act please click on the related link below.

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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ