ICE-CREAM customers are being warned to be on their guard against illegal vendors. 

Licensing officials warn that unlicensed vans could be falling short of hygiene regulations, or be operated by people who have not undergone the necessary background checks.

They say have been made aware of several unlicensed ice cream vans operating near schools and busy beaches in East Yorkshire.

Traders need a licence to operate a van in the East Riding, and must meet a number of conditions but some traders are flouting the law, risking a £1,000 fine.

Tina Holtby, licensing manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said the council supported legal local businesses, but said: "Rogue ice cream sellers are moving from town to town and across seaside resorts and not only are they taking trade away from legitimate businesses, they could also be posing a potential health risk as they may not have the correct food registration in place or have had food hygiene checks.

“They could also pose a safety risk as unlike our licensed traders, their backgrounds are not checked by the council.

“If we find traders without a licence in place we will look to prosecute and I would ask people to help us find these rogue traders by informing the licensing team of any traders without a plate on display.”

How to tell if a van is legitimate...

If a trader in the East Riding of Yorkshire is licensed, there will be a pink and white plate on the vehicle and a licence on display showing. Only those trading as part of local fetes, festivals or markets are exempt from needing a licence.

Can you help?

Anyone with information about rogue sellers is asked to email or phone 01482 396297, with details of the vehicle registration number, and where and when it was seen.