When cooking in a commercial kitchen in the UK, what are the rules about consuming food or beverages while on shift?

I was previously trained to not eat or drink freely in the kitchen. If hydration was required, we had to drink our water it at the allocated sink and go back to work. The place I'm at now seems to allow sipping constantly from a mug of tea or bottle of water leaving the bottle or mug here and there on work tops.

Does it depend on place of work, or is there a food hygiene law about it?

  • 5
    Cooks taste food in the kitchen all the time
    – paparazzo
    Mar 9, 2017 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


About the only perk to being a chef is eating the fancy foods, which you have not even the dream of being able to afford on the measly less than minimum wage you get paid for slaving over rich ungrateful customers food night in night out.

No safety law I've ever heard of, probably just some over cautious owner trying to increase their bottom line by ensuring nothing is ever eaten or drank that may possibly cost them any pennies.

In one place I worked, we had to learn to shove full sandwiches in our mouths, so the boss didn't catch us eating during our 14 hour shifts (with no staff food or dinner breaks).

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