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Case 352 - Takeaway will not allow customers to use their own carrier bags

Issue

Since the mandatory 5p carrier bag charge was introduced in Scotland a Scottish takeaway has claimed that because of health and safety regulations they can’t take customers own bags into the kitchen to pack their food in and that customers can’t be allowed to pack the food themselves into their own bags because the food is too hot.

Panel opinion

Although it is outwith HSE’s remit, the panel agree that it seems reasonable to refuse to take customer’s used carrier bags into a food preparation area for hygiene reasons. However, there is no health and safety rule or practical reason which would prevent customers from putting the food into their own carrier or other bags to take it home. The risk of carrying hot food is no different whether it is a new plastic carrier or the customer’s own bag!

2015-03-16