Steve was engaged to provide Food Safety and Health & Safety at a one-day Halloween Open Air Music Festival to support the Event Organisers and protect attending public. There was going to be 25 stalls providing a variety of food products from the usual burgers, fried chicken, oriental food, and vegetarian curries to ice cream (on 31st October!). Aside from the usual concerns for safety, there was also the weather to contend with. High wind, rain and freezing temperatures were expected – not unexpectedly!
Steve worked pre-event, assessing the catering facilities, and the competencies and qualifications of traders to determine suitability for the event. Of course, what is presented prior to event is not necessarily what arrives to trade on site. Often traders use different catering facilities/stands and staff without qualification. (This is not true of the many responsible Traders). This late change can add immeasurably to the already extensive list of set-up checks.
Which, important as they are, played second fiddle to the weather. A hard job in itself made harder by lashing gales, freezing winds and knee-deep mud. Site organisers had been late to decide to install metal track routes, so an inordinate amount of time was spent releasing traders and site vehicles from deep mud and fetching tents from the opposite side of the site. Safety was a big issue, checking flame-failure devices, advising on location of burners, and securing trade stands and event installations so the event could proceed. And yes, it did proceed. The sight of hardy barely dressed (showing my age) attendees slipping and sliding their way across the site wearing their brand-new white fashion trainers was one never to forget. Home to a deep hot bath!
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