22/05/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Bank Holiday public safety reminder to ice cream van owners

Related topics: Community / Coronavirus / Health / Public protection

Shropshire Council’s priority during the coronavirus pandemic is to protect the health and safety of the public and to save lives. For this to happen, everyone needs to behave responsibly.

In the run up to what is promising to be a warm and sunny Bank Holiday weekend, it is likely that a lot of people will be accessing the county’s open spaces, enjoying the sunshine and being tempted by the offer of an ice cream from a local ice cream van.

The council is urging ice cream van owners to take responsibility for managing the coronavirus risk around ice cream sales by ensuring they operate in a ‘COVID-19 secure’ manner to protect both their staff and customers.

This will include strict systems to manage social distancing to avoid crowds gathering, following robust food hygiene practices, and taking steps to minimise physical contact between the seller and the customer. Owners must follow the Government’s guidance for food businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19), including:

  • limiting contact with customers
  • taking contactless payments as much as possible
  • ensuring that there is at least two-metres separation between sellers and customers.

We also strongly recommend that owners do not play music, to help to reduce the risk of drawing a crowd which could make it difficult to ensure social distancing.

To reduce the risk of infection when serving customers, owners should ensure that they:

  • have a supply of hot and cold water available in the van
  • maintain good personal hygiene by washing hands thoroughly after serving each customer by using soap and hot water. As an additional measure, alcohol-based hand sanitiser and disposable gloves can be used
  • maintain two-metre social distancing at all times

For more food safety information regarding COVID-19 click here:

For advice on food safety including how to register your mobile click here

We are aware of reports of poorly managed ice cream van sales, which create a real risk of encouraging illegal gatherings, making it difficult or even impossible for people observe the two-metre social distancing public health guidance. This will increase the likelihood that the coronavirus will continue to spread, and could put people’s lives at risk.

Ice cream van owners must also ensure they are properly licensed under the council’s street trading requirements and/or hold a pedlar’s certificate from the police, or they will risk trading illegally. Care must be taken as ‘street’ has a wide meaning, and includes private land where the public have access without payment.

For more information about street trading, visit our website.

Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s trading standards and licensing operations manager, said:

“We do not want to prevent the public from enjoying themselves over the Bank Holiday weekend. However, we do have a responsibility to enforce the coronavirus restrictions as they relate to businesses in order to keep people safe.

“We have adopted a proportionate and pragmatic approach to enforcement, with the majority of businesses continuing to comply fully with the guidance and other legislative requirements that are aimed at protecting the public. However, where businesses, including ice cream sellers, do not do so, we will take appropriate enforcement action.”

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:-

“The protection of the health and safety of the public is our number one priority, but everyone has a responsibility.

“It is crucial that ice cream van owners take responsibility, and only continue to operate if they are satisfied that they can protect their staff and customers from the spread of COVID-19.

“We have highly knowledgeable and skilled staff who are happy and able to help owners and the public with any concerns they may have. If you need to speak with us, please get in touch. We are here to help.”

Further advice can be sought from, and COVID-19 concerns reported to, Shropshire Council by email to advicecompliance@shropshire.gov.uk or telephone 0345 678 9067 and select option 3.

Street trading advice can be sought from Shropshire Council’s licensing team by email at licensing@shropshire.gov.uk or by telephone on 0345 678 9026.

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