Food Truck Series Part 3 | Your legal responsibilities as the business owner – the person in charge

By Linda Jackson on 30 November 2021

Food safety responsibilities

It is your responsibility to ensure the requirements of R638 are complied with. This is important to remember if you are not on-site all the time.

In order to ensure you understand the risks associated with making food for other people, the law requires you to have some training. This is an important requirement, as although we make food for our own families every day, if someone was to get sick from your unit, you are legally liable for this.

While no one questions your intentions to ensure the food you provide is safe, making food on a larger scale can present situations we don’t deal with at home. The capacity to cool and store food safely can pose a challenge and if this step is not treated correctly, can result in food-borne illness. Cross-contamination between raw and cooked food is also a potential problem. Taking shortcuts on cooking hot food properly can also happen when you are under pressure at a large event. Again these seemingly “small” issues can cause foodborne illness. You need to understand what can go wrong and the consequences.


Basically, you have to ensure that a condition. act or omission that may contaminate food does not arise or is not performed or permitted on your premises.

As Joanne points out:

“The food business is not for everyone. You have to consider the impact of a foodborne illness on your customers. On a construction site, an outbreak can stop building costing hundreds of thousands of rands in penalties.”

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