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​The London Port Health Authority (LPHA) complies with the Food Standards Agency's Code of Practice and practice guidance on food safety enforcement. More information is on the FSA website.

The Food Hygiene (Ships and Aircraft) (England and Scotland) Order 2003 (as amended) applies the food hygiene regulations to merchant vessels entering the LPHA district. ​

LPHA Officers have both an advisory and enforcement role.

They inspect pleasure craft and merchant vessels on the river to ensure that food safety and hygiene standards required by EC Regulation 852/2004 and the Food Safety Act 1990 are met and consumers' health is protected from food poisoning and waterborne infections.

Officers also provide information and guidance on meeting the standards, changes in legislation and matters of general public health concerning food, for example Food Alerts and Allergy Alerts issued by the FSA.

Contact us

For more information on food hygiene legislation, changes in legislation, food hygiene training or advice email the Port Health team.

Selling food

Food produced or sold on board river craft, merchant vessels and in dock premises may be sampled for microbiological quality to ensure it is safe for consumers. Samples are submitted to laboratories for examination and the laboratories provide the LPHA with certificates of examination and scientific opinion. The results help officers to determine food safety.

Registering a food business

Many of the river pleasure craft are defined as food premises within under the Food Safety Act 1990 and are required to register with the LPHA. The primary purpose of this is to provide the LPHA with up-to-date information on food premises in the district so they can be inspected. The frequency of routine inspections depends on the type of food business and can vary from every six months to once every five years.

Food Premises Registration Application Form (80KB)

Drinking water

Drinking water supplied at berths, piers and on board river craft and merchant vessels are closely monitored as a part of the LPHA's food safety and hygiene enforcement duties to ensure its potability.​​

Potable water quality on vessels is subject to EC Regulation 852/2004 which requires the proper implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures including monitoring and record-keeping. These include bunkering procedures, supply hose and storage tank disinfection, maintenance of the free residual chlorine level at not less than 0.2 mg/L (ppm) and periodic microbiological assay of the water.

The LPHA encourage shipping companies and responsible ship's officers to discuss these requirements with Port Health Officers. Detailed authoritative advice is contained in a booklet called 'Guidelines For Water Quality On Board Merchant Ships Including Passenger Vessels' which can be ordered from the Occupational Health and Welfare Service website.

Liaison between port health authorities

Port health authorities liaise, as ships move from port to port, so that follow-up visits and inspections are carried out to monitor progress on any issues that need rectification. This ensures consistency of inspections, enforcement and educational. The Association of Port Health Authorities (APHA) performs a vital role in this process, including the provision of a link between the Port State Control Agency for ships, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA), and local port health authorities.