The general rule is that food (for ease of reference the word 'food' in this section should be taken to include drink unless the context demands otherwise) is zero-rated if it is of a kind used for human consumption – however, there are two exceptions to the general rule:
• a supply of food made in the course of catering, and
• a supply of any food specifically excluded from zero-rating by the legislation at VATA 1994,Sch 8, Group 1
The basic definition of a supply in the course of catering is any supply of food for consumption on the premises in which it is supplied and any supply of hot food for consumption off those premises.
From 1 October 2012 the definition of premises has been extended to include any area set aside for the consumption of food by the supplier's customers, whether or not the area may also be used by the customers of other suppliers.
From 1 October 2012 the definition of hot food has been revised so that hot food means food which (or any part of which) is at a temperature above the ambient air temperature at the time it is provided to the customer and:
• has been heated for the purposes of enabling it to be consumed hot, or
• has been heated to order, or
• has been kept hot after being heated because the supplier stores it in an environment which provides, applies or retains heat, or takes other steps to ensure
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