This page is here to help give you a starting point to find out about some of the obligations that may apply to you if you decide to host Trips or Experiences on Airbnb. It’s for your information only and includes summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to official resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
What are some of the basic principles?
Your guest’s health and safety should always come first. For example, here’s what host Alissa recommends: “I always make sure that my kitchen is spic and span, that I only use fresh ingredients and that I tell my guests about the ingredients I use. I also ask my guests in advance about any food allergies they may have and religious or philosophical codes that I need to keep in mind when I prepare a meal to share with them."
My experience will involve serving food to guests outside of a traditional restaurant, cafe, or food business. Are there any specific rules I need to follow?
If your experience involves you cooking and/or handling food (including storing, serving, selling or distributing food prepared by other people) which is eaten by guests, you’ll need to make sure that you comply with rules on rules on food safety, food hygiene and information.
“Food" also includes drink (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and so if you are providing any experiences that involve drinks, such as for example a cocktail making class, you will need to comply with the rules summarised here, as well as the rules summarised in the Experiences Involving Alcohol section.
Your main responsibilities are:
Food safety. To ensure that you do not include anything in food, remove anything from food, or treat food in any way that would damage the health of people eating it, which includes ensuring that foods are kept at appropriate temperatures (more detailed information on Food Safety is provided below).
Whether or not you need to register your premises, food safety laws will apply to the place where you are preparing or handling the food, and your local council has the power to inspect the premises to ensure they are safe. You can find out more about inspections here.
Food hygiene. You should ensure that the food you serve or sell is of the nature, substance, or quality which consumers would expect.
For more information on food hygiene, check out the Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidance on Safer Food, Better Business. The FSA also has helpful training videos, which help explain some basic hygiene guidelines. Your local council may also produce guidelines or leaflets on food safety, which you might find helpful.
Information. Ensure that the food is labelled, advertised, and presented in a way that is not false or misleading
Traceability. Ensure that records are kept of food supplied to you or your business, for example documenting the names and addresses of the supplier in each case, as well as the nature of the product and date of delivery.
- Safety procedures. Ensure that food safety management procedures are put in place, based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, for further guidance on safety procedures click here.)
Register 28 days before you start your food experience. In almost all cases, you also need to register the place where the food is handled or prepared, whether it’s your home kitchen or elsewhere (like a pop-up or temporary location, a mobile food van, or your local community centre). This needs to be done 28 days before you start your food experience. There are some limited exceptions to this. Your local authority’s food safety or environmental health team should be able to advise if any of these exceptions apply to you.
Registration is free and can be done online through the Gov.UK website. Your local authority does not have the right to refuse your application to register the premises as long as you have filled in the form correctly and provided accurate information. Typically, your local council will carry out a food inspection shortly after you register to make sure that the premises are suitable for the preparation of food and to check that you are complying with food safety rules.
Training courses. Optional health and hygiene training courses are available and recommended. For example, you could get a Level 2 Hygiene Certificate (typically for a small fee), which could give guests more confidence in your experience, as it shows a commitment to health and safety. Your local council might offer this course, and there are also providers, such as the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health who may provide this course online.
- Allergens.Hosts should always ask whether any of their Guests have allergies. There are potentially serious consequences if allergens are not controlled, and you may wish to consider Safer Food, Better Business and Guidance on Allergen Management and Consumer Information for further guidance.
Here are some examples of where some or all of the above considerations are likely to apply:
- I cook and serve meals to my paying guests at my home
- I hold an event at a temporary space / in my local community centre, at which I serve store-bought nibbles to guests
- I take people on a cool visit of London and provide them with a packed lunch which I prepare at home
Here are some examples of where the above considerations do not apply and you don’t need to register:
- I plan to host guests at my local favourite restaurant. Of course, the restaurant will need to make sure that it has registered and that it is following the rules
- I’d like to take guests along to a festival where food is served by licensed festival organisers
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your experience will also involve serving or providing alcohol, we recommend that you take a look at our information about experiences involving alcohol. If your experience will involve combining food with another activity (for example, a guided tour of the city), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.
We recommend you also read our other information pages on business licenses. If you’re in any doubt, we recommend you get in touch with your accountant or legal advisor to find out whether you’re operating as a business.
You should be aware of potential criminal offences for failure to comply with Food Safety legislation, which may include financial penalties and the possibility of a custodial sentence.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).