51 FOODS FOR CATERING AND VENDING OPERATIONS – Food and Drink – Good Manufacturing Practice, 7th Edition



The manufacture of foods intended for use in catering or vending operations should be carried out in accordance with the principles and practices outlined in this Guide but, additionally, should have regard to the special requirements that relate to the intended use. It should be noted that ‘manufacture of food’ in this context applies not only to food products made by a food manufacturing company and sold to a caterer or to a vending machine operator, but also to food prepared in a central production unit by factory‐style processing, by a catering organisation for use in its own catering establishments, as distinct from preparation in ‘cook‐serve’ form.


51.1 In the manufacture and distribution of food and drink for catering and vending purposes, particular regard should be given to the circumstances and conditions of use, the probable expertise of the caterer and his/her staff, and the interactions likely to occur between the product and its subsequent environment. The general points of guidance identified as pertinent to good manufacturing practice (GMP) apply equally to foods manufactured for catering and vending purposes. The manufacturer should be prepared to offer technical advice to users on the suitability of products for the uses intended and on any appropriate precautions to be observed.

51.2 Adequacy of information (such as ingredients and nutrition information) and its intelligibility to the intended user are of particular importance. This includes the need to recognise possible literacy and language problems, stock rotation and effective product life, and appropriateness of presentation and packaging (e.g. in‐pack microwaveability or product stability during prolonged maintenance at serving temperature and relative humidity).

51.3 Where a catering/food service organisation is preparing food by factory‐style cook‐freeze or cook‐chill processing in the United Kingdom (UK), reference should also be made to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidelines or further information such as Campden BRI Guidelines.

51.4 The interaction effects between product, environment and equipment are especially pertinent in operations involving vending machines. In the manufacture of products for these purposes, the manufacturer should ensure awareness of such potential hazards as within‐machine environment, hygiene and cleaning needs, product flow properties, variability of throw or dispensation, as well as product and machine interactions and interactions with other products or ingredients.

51.5 The requirements for vending operations may call for particular product performance standards, for example dispersion at subscalding temperatures or interchangeability with competitors’ products in an identical vending situation.

51.6 Reference may also be made to the Automatic Vending Association (AVA), who have developed their own AVA Quality System that their members must comply with. Further details can be found at http://the‐ava.com and the European Vending Association (EVA) at http://www.vending‐europe.eu/eva/home.html.


51.7 Manufacturers should develop appropriate systems to handle, record and respond to complaints from caterers/food service organisations, and from their own customers, as these will not normally fit into the system for dealing with direct complaints from consumers who have purchased retail products (see Chapter 27).