Register as a food service provider.
You must register with your local government when you start a new food business or take over an existing one.
This should be done at least 28 days before the date of the opening. Your food company registration is free and will not be denied. The registration process is straightforward and takes only a few minutes. If you’re already trading but haven’t yet registered, you should do so right away.
The registration of events where food is served on a regular and organised basis is required under food law. Whether the food is given away for free or sold, this is essential. While you may not consider yourself a business, you are a food business under food legislation if you provide meals on a regular and organised basis.
These scenarios that may necessitate registration can assist you in determining whether your culinary operations necessitate registration. Your local government will be able to help you determine whether you need to register.
Once you’ve registered, local government officers will schedule a visit to your home to undertake a food hygiene inspection. The purpose of this inspection is to see if your food preparation areas and food safety processes are up to grade.
Become a self-employed person.
When you start a home-based food business, you must notify HMRC that you are self-employed (Opens in a new window). This is to inform them that you will be using Self-Assessment to pay your taxes. Even if you work part-time or have another employment, you must register as a self-employed person when beginning a food business.
To authenticate your account and check the facts of your food business, you need register at GOV.UK. A fine may be imposed if you do not register.
HMRC has more information about working for yourself (Opens in a new window)and determining if you should instead form a limited company (Opens in a new window).
Assessment of the dangers
You should conduct a risk assessment before starting a food business. To address the dangers of COVID-19, an additional risk assessment is required, in accordance with government guidelines (Opens in a new window). The Health and Safety Executive has provided recommendations on how to conduct a risk assessment and what to include in it (Opens in a new window).
HACCP methods or a HACCP-based Food Safety Management System are required for food operations. To identify and handle food safety and hygiene hazards, you might find our Safer food, better business for caterers pack (the Safe catering pack in Northern Ireland) beneficial.
The kits are geared for small enterprises and include information on personal hygiene, insect management, cross-contamination, cleaning, chilling, and cooking, among other topics.
Food safety education
It is critical to display the highest standards of food preparation, handling, storage, and serving wherever food is provided. You must demonstrate that you have received proper food hygiene training.
It is not required that you acquire a food hygiene certificate, but if you are planning to establish a food business, we recommend that you obtain one to increase your understanding.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health offers information on the various levels of food hygiene certification that are available (Opens in a new window). There are a variety of other approved training providers to choose from. Your local government will be able to advise you on which path is best for you.
A rating for food safety
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme assigns a score out of five to companies so that customers may make educated decisions about where to buy and eat food.
Your food business will be inspected by the local government, and the results will be published on www.food.gov.uk/ratings.
Every company should be able to get a perfect score of 5. If you don’t, the food safety officer will point out the areas where you need to improve and offer advice on how to get a better grade.
Traceability regulations assist in the tracking of food along the supply chain. They ensure that, in the event of a food safety issue, hazardous items can be removed from the market in a timely and accurate manner.
You must keep track of the following:
all of your food or food ingredient providers, as well as the businesses you supply with food or food ingredients
All of your records must be current and accessible for review at all times.
Managing food safety has specific details on what you should include in your traceability records. This information is frequently provided on the invoice.
Food for sale on the internet
You should register as a food business if you sell food online.
When you sell food over the internet, the food you sell must comply with UK food regulations. This includes regulations for safety, record keeping, product withdrawal, product recall, excellent cleanliness, and labelling.
You should include a statement on your website informing clients of where they can get allergen information before placing an order. If you sell food through an external online ordering service, you should be aware that they may have their own guidelines for providing allergen information to clients.
Deliveries of food
If you’re delivering food orders, make sure that everything is presented in a method that prevents the food from becoming dangerous or unfit to eat.
Food that needs to be refrigerated must be transported in a cool environment. It’s possible that this will need to be packaged in an insulated box with cooling gel or a cold bag. Food that must be kept warm should also be packed in an insulated bag.
We have information regarding the hygiene criteria and vehicle specifications that must be satisfied if you use a domestic vehicle (or a non-food industry commercial vehicle) to transport your food orders.
Packaging that is safe to eat
It’s critical to choose appropriate food-grade packaging when delivering food orders. This is packaging made specifically for a certain purpose, such as transporting hot food. This will ensure that the food being delivered is safe and of good quality.
To avoid leaks or prevent paper from becoming wet through, packaging materials may be required to be liquid or fat repellent. Chemical pollutants or bacteria could pass onto the food without this form of packing. Hygiene and spillage concerns are also reduced with well-fitting lids or closures.