Are dogs allowed in restaurants?

There is no current law or any health and safety regulation in the UK that bans dogs from being in premises where food and drink is served or sold; however, the law does specifically state that pets must not enter areas where food is prepared, handled or stored, this specifically relates to food preparation areas, the kitchen, a servery area or a food storage area.

The key consideration is to whether there is a risk of contamination to food, this is extremely unlikely once food has been prepared and served to the customer, therefore front of house areas are perfectly safe from a food hygiene perspective as long as general health and safety rules and good etiquette are followed by dog owners.

The law is different when it comes to guide or assistance dogs being allowed into food premises, the Food Standards Agency would advise food businesses to consider that assistance dogs are highly trained working dogs, not pets and to be mindful of the following requirements within the Disability and Discrimination Act 1995, Article 22 on premises, and discrimination in relation to premises

(3) It is unlawful for a person managing any premises to discriminate against a disabled person occupying those premises-

(a) in the way they permit the disabled person to make use of any benefits or facilities;

(c ) by evicting the disabled person, or subjecting him to any other detriment

Common sense is the way forward, so here are some general rules that should be followed by both staff and guests, should you be thinking about being a ‘Dog Friendly establishment.

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