Anyone who prepares and sells food must make sure the product they supply is safe to eat. The ingredients, method of production, condition of the premises and the person making the food can impact on the safety and quality of the final product. All food businesses, regardless of type or size of operation, must comply with the following legal requirements:
- Registration - Food business operators must register with us 28 days before opening or starting to trade.
- Food hygiene training - Anyone handling food should be trained, supervised or instructed to a level appropriate to their work activities. It is recommended that food handlers undertake training to a level equivalent to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Level 2 Award in Food Safety.
Before you start
There are a number of things you need to consider concerning your premises and food preparation practices before you start work.
Your kitchen or food preparation area needs to be in good structural condition. The floors, walls, ceilings and work surfaces must be easily cleaned.
You should have suitable and pest-proof storage available for equipment, ingredients and finished products.
There must be a clean sink within the kitchen or food preparation area to enable you to wash your hands. It should be equipped with hot and cold running water, antibacterial soap and disposable hand towels (or kitchen towel) to dry your hands.
You need to ensure that your preparation area is clear of all items that are not being used (such as pen lids, paperclips, drawing pins etc.). This will minimise the risk of foreign body contamination of your products.
If you have a washing machine in your kitchen you should not do any laundry whilst food preparation is in progress.
Pets should be excluded from the kitchen whilst food preparation is in progress.
You should ensure that you pay attention to good personal hygiene – wear a clean protective apron, tie long hair back, remove any jewellery and cover any cuts or surface wounds with a waterproof plaster before you start work.
Labelling of products – including allergens
You have a legal responsibility under the Food Information Regulations 2014 to provide your customers with correct information on the allergenic ingredients contained in your products. Full guidance on allergen requirements are available on the Food Standards Agency and the Business Companion websites. The legislation applies to all foods and drinks, and to both packaged foods/drinks and foods/drinks sold loose.
From October 2021, the way food businesses must provide allergen labelling information for Prepacked for Direct Sale (PPDS) will change. Further information can be found on the Food Standards Agency at www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-information-for-prepacked-for-direct-sale-food.
The Food Standards Agency website also provides online allergy training and resources for businesses.
For other Food labelling and Trading Standards guidance including Gluten free claims see Business Companion: Labelling for Bakers.
Glitters and dusts
Care should be taken when using dusts or glitters to ensure that they are edible. Edible products will be made of permitted additives (such as mica or titanium dioxide) and must comply with the requirements of EU food additive legislation.
Edible dusts or glitters will be labelled with the name or e-number of any additives used and should carry a statement such as ‘for food’, ‘restricted use in food’ or a more specific reference to their intended food use, for example ‘edible lustre’.
Weights and measures
If you are producing bread there are weights and measures requirements that may apply and you should contact our Trading Standards Service team for advice or go to Business Companion guidance.
Food safety management
Food business operators must manage the food safety hazards in their business using an appropriate documented food safety management system. This should be based on the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) which identifies the stages during food production where things can go wrong, the most appropriate way of preventing problems from occurring, the corrective action that should be taken if things do go wrong, and the best way to record all of this information.
You can download a suggested HACCP plan for home producers of breads, cakes and confectionery. It is based on the key areas of:
- Cross Contamination
You are advised to consider the hazards listed and complete the parts that are relevant to your business.
Page last updated: 11 March 2020