Information from Environmental Health

I received the following helpful email from the South & Vale environmental health officer.  I am now ‘translating’ what that means into notes that will go on the Botley community fridge and will be handed out to local registered food businesses:

“Further to our recent telephone conversation regarding the community fridge, I can confirm that we recommend that only low risk, ambient stable foods are donated from members of the public.  This would also reflect the practices of two other community fridges that we are aware of that are operating elsewhere within the country.

With regards to your documentation that you have sent to me in initial draft, I would suggest that the following areas need looking at/reviewing:

  • Disclaimers – it is recommended you seek legal advice regarding these and they are reviewed
  • The Food Hygiene Rating of businesses donating food is checked at
  • Certified Businesses is changed to Registered Food Businesses
  • The Safer Food Better Business pack is completed available to print at
  • Allergen information is available for the foods. You would need to comply with the Food Information Regulations 2014.  Further information is available at as well as free online allergen training
  • High risk food references are reviewed as there is confusion regarding high risk foods throughout the documentation

The correspondence we have received from the Food Standards Agency with regards to such community fridges suggests that the following points could be emphasised for users in the user guidance as follows:

  • Do not donate food that has been stored above 8C for more than four hours
  • Cooked rice is added to those foods that should not be donated
  • Cooked foods which have been chilled are given a 24 hour maximum ‘use by’ date by the provider from the point when the food was chilled
  • Foods which have already been frozen and defrosted once should not be frozen again and then donated
  • Ensure donated cooked food is placed in suitable food grade containers”


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