GLT Show Catering, Food Hygiene, Food and Alcohol guidelines

Please find below details on food hygiene, sample sizes and alcohol information. Please also view the Health and Safety section.

Useful links:
Catering / Food Hygiene / Food & Alcohol


The in hall catering is open during the show open period and will offer a selection of food for visitors and exhibitors. Alternatively (and during build and breakdown) exhibitors may choose to go to the MK1 Retail Centre or visit the selection of restaurants on site at Stadium MK.

In instances where exhibitors wish to bring their own catering on site, prior application is required which will then be reviewed and assessed by the Venue in line with food safety regulations and with applicable charges. Please contact the Organisers should you wish to do so and we will advise next steps.

Please note that it is necessary for the personal licence holder of the exhibiting company to be present onsite at the Marshall Arena should alcohol be distributed/sampled at the exhibition.

Food Hygiene

For those exhibitors who wish to sample or sell food on their stands they are required to complete the Marshall Arena form available here. This form confirms that all catering, preparation and production through to service has been undertaken by the exhibitor (or the company producing the food), inclusive of food hygiene and HACCP Procedure recording at the relevant stages of production and during onsite sampling/sale, which will be available on request from the exhibitor. This is required from every exhibitor who intends to sell or sample food from their stand and must be returned to the Venue. Full responsibility for ensuring food is kept protected from contamination and at safe temperatures rests with the exhibitor.

It is essential that any stand providing refreshments to visitors comply with the Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations 1990. The following must be adhered to:

  1. All staff responsible for food preparation/serving should have the appropriate training and food hygiene certificates. In general any person involved in food preparation/handling should hold a minimum of a Foundation Certificate in Food Hygiene;
  2. Ready to eat foods which have been cut up, prepared or made off site and will be simply decanted out into serving dishes as samples will not require hand wash facilities on the stand;
  3. Where food will be cut up, prepared, handled and cooked on a stand, hand washing facilities must be provided within the stand. The requirement is access to a wash basin, together with a supply of hot and cold water at a suitable controlled temperature, a supply of soap, clean towels and a nail brush. The use of disposable gloves, tongs or antibacterial wipes/gel does not remove the requirement for hand washing facilities;
  4. If utensils, food chopping boards, food surfaces and crockery need to be cleaned then a separate/second sink, together with a supply of hot and cold water, is required;
  5. Separate sinks must be provided for food washing if the nature and amount of food preparation, and the volume of equipment washing, demands it. The size of sink needed will relate to the proposed use or size of equipment to be washed. If the same sink is to be used at different times for food preparation and equipment washing it must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each process;
  6. In food preparation areas, the floor covering must be smooth, impervious and readily cleansible. In this instance carpet or bare wood is not acceptable;
  7. Hot water for sinks and basins must be provided from an immersion heater or instantaneous heater. Drainage must be into a sealed container or piped directly into drainage where appropriate by an approved venue contractor;
  8. A first aid kit containing sufficient supply of suitable bandages, dressing including waterproof adhesive dressing, must be provided;
  9. All persons engaged in the handling of open food must wear clean, washable overclothing;
  10. Open food displayed for human consumption must be adequately screened against the risk of contamination by persons visiting the stand;
  11. It is essential that all raw and cooked foods are separately handled, stored and prepared, so as to avoid any risk of cross contamination;
  12. Certain foods must be kept at a controlled temperature if the product contains cooked products such as meat, fish, eggs, cheese and vegetables;
  13. The Food Hygiene (Amendment) Regulations 1990 require foods such as soft cheese, sandwiches and cream cakes to be stored at temperatures not exceeding 8 degrees C, unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer. Other cooked foods like pies, pasties, sausage rolls and smoked or cured fish, if being sold that day, must be kept at a temperature not less than 63 degrees C.
  14. Sandwiches which contain any of the relevant foods must be kept at or below 8 degrees C unless they are sold within 4 hours of completion of preparation.
  15. All foodstuffs requiring refrigeration should be stored at the correct temperature in suitable containers. Where regular checks need to be carried out on foodstuffs a written temperature record should be maintained. Please click here for a Food Safety Record Temperature Check form template.
  16. Any stand preparing food for visitors must put in place, implement and maintain permanent written procedures based on HACCP principles. The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system requires you to make an assessment of the food hazards relevant to your ‘business’ and to put into effect food safety controls to ensure that the food you make and/or sell is safe to eat. Your documented food safety management system (ie HACCP plan and food safety temperature records) relating to your food operation must be made available for inspection;
  17. Solid waste must be frequently removed from food preparation and storage areas. It must be stored in lidded containers whilst awaiting collection. Liquid waste must not be emptied directly onto the ground or into the rainwater drainage system.

For further advice and clarification on these regulations, please contact Milton Keynes Council. Tel: 01908 691691.

Food & Alcohol Sampling

There are strict guidelines for food and drink sampling arrangements on your stand. Prior application is required which will then be reviewed and assessed in line with food safety regulations and with applicable charges by the venue. In the first instance please contact the Organisers. Please also complete the Marshall Arena Alcohol Authorisation form.

Please note that it is necessary for a personal licence holder to be present onsite at the venue should alcohol be distributed/sampled at the exhibition.

Marshall Arena Food Sampling Authorisation Form
Marshall Arena Alcohol Authorisation Form

Food Sampling:
Essentially, quantities allowed should only provide a taster and need to be:

  1. Unwrapped food – “bite size” portions (small portions of foods that are hard to categorise as “bite size” such as ice cream should be no more than two mouthfuls);
  2. Individually wrapped items;
  3. No more than 50ml for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, mineral water, soft drinks and other non alcoholic beverages.

Alcohol Sampling:
In general the following must be adhered to:

  1. Service staff must be over the age of 18;
  2. Products for sampling must be held in a secure area;
  3. Alcohol may only be served to visitors over the age of 18. Please note that this is at the discretion of the Licencees (Marshall Arena) who may raise the limit to 21 years;
  4. A sign must be displayed on the exhibition stand which states that alcohol will only be served to visitors over the age of 18, or at such other age limit as is determined by the Licencees;
  5. Exhibitors must refuse to serve alcohol to visitors who are, or who appear to be, under the prescribed age limit without an established form of proof of age identity;
  6. Exhibitors must refuse to serve alcohol to visitors who appear to be under the influence of alcohol;
  7. Sampling should only provide a taster and the following quantities are allowed:
    a – Non alcoholic beverages: 50ml
    b – Beer/Cider/Lager/Alcopops: 50ml
    c – Wine: 50ml
    d – Spirits: 5ml
  8. Exhibitors must have an understanding of the Licensing Act 2003;
  9. Alcohol must not be served before 10.00am.