HMRC’s VAT Notice 701/14: food explains what types of foods are zero rated and standard rated for VAT. The notice includes many examples of different food categories. The notice covers some general VAT liability rules. For example, food supplied in the course of catering is standard rated for VAT. This includes hot take-away food. Most basic food stuffs intended for human consumption and not supplied in the course of catering are zero rated for VAT. However, the definition of 'basic' is not straightforward.

The following food and drinks must usually be standard rated:

Produce that’s unfit for human consumption, such as waste and contaminated food products (including used cooking oil), may be eligible for zero rating as animal feeding stuffs.

Source:HM Revenue & Customs| 15-08-2022