Course offers festival food for thought

Course offers festival food for thought

University of Wolverhampton students have been festival bound to put their learning into practice – and it’s been a real case of providing food for thought for future careers.

Second year Bachelor of Science Environmental Health students were invited to the Bearded Theory Festival for the second year running to inspect all mobile food traders on site. The Bearded Theory Festival took place in May at Catton Park in South Derbyshire.  Billed as the UK’s best independent music festival, the festival played host to bands such as Squeeze, Levellers, Public Image Limited and Arrested Development.

Students inspected around 35 units selling a wide range of food including burgers, steaks, pizzas, breakfasts, curries, risottos, ice cream and alcohol.

Andy Lucas, Lecturer in Environmental Health at the University of Wolverhampton said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for students to perform the role of a food inspector and to consider other issues relevant to their study including public health, health and safety and noise control.

“Students developed their inspection skills and had the responsibility of deciding whether or not the food operator could trade. They looked at how food was stored, prepared and served; the cleanliness of the units; temperature control; arrangements for waste removal and sanitation and checking the water supply.

“They also gave advice on food poisoning, disinfection, cleaning procedures and first aid and developed professional skills including dealing with business operators in a pressure environment, understanding how to interpret and use food law when regulating and how to work with businesses to enable them to trade – all vital, practical, work experience skills which will give them an advantage when applying for jobs.”

Students were given a free ticket and complimentary camping in the crew field.  

Second year student, Rebecca Knox, said “Any traders who could not meet a minimum standard and were potentially putting festival goers at risk were given a 'red card' and could not trade until they made the necessary improvements.  Following our interventions, all traders were inspected and after a few revisits, all were given the 'green card' allowing them to trade over the weekend.

“Working professionally at such a high-profile festival was a great experience.  Not only were we able to put theory into practice, we got the opportunity to work with businesses to improve the standards of services on offer.”

Students will be carrying out similar work at another larger festival Boomtown due to be held in Hampshire during August and will be looking to carry out similar field trips to Glastonbury and other festivals during the next year.

Anyone interested in studying Environmental Health should check out the range of courses on the website: or have a look at our YouTube video

Picture Caption, from left to right, students: Alex Coates, Rebecca Knox, Maybee Kamunda, Leah Reed, Lucy Brundell and Alex Hinton


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Date Issued: 24th June 2016

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