Pin Point Issue 2 - Food Matters - December 2021
Running a Food business from home
Over the last 12 months we have seen a substantial increase in the number of new food businesses submitting registrations to operate as a food business from domestic premises. In normal times we would receive an application to register as a food business and arrange an initial inspection as soon as possible by phone. However, we have found making contact this way has not been very productive, therefore we will now send out a letter suggesting a date / time for us to visit. If this is not convenient, please contact us to arrange a suitable alternative.
Generally we would have no objections to a domestic kitchen being used as a commercial food operation providing it is a low risk operation i.e. confectionery, sweet packaging and celebration cakes etc. However, the following will apply:
- Premises should be designed, constructed and kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition as to avoid the risk of contamination, in particular by animals and pests.
- Pets must be excluded from the kitchen when open food is being prepared or processed, and all work surfaces disinfected prior to the food preparation.
- Food business operators shall put in place a documented food safety management system, as your business is likely to be low risk we have prepared a small document, which needs to be read, signed and kept at the property.
- If the food that you are handling/preparing is high risk (i.e. high protein and ready to eat) then a level 2 in catering studies should be obtained. If low risk foods then we would recommend formal training only.
Once the initial visit has been carried out by a food officer, your business will be risk rated which will determine the frequency of future visits. It is likely to be a low risk operation therefore a self-assessment questionnaire will be sent every 5 years thereafter. You must complete and return this so that a desk top assessment can be made, and if no significant changes, rescored as the same.
Your food hygiene rating will also be scored and awarded at the same time. However, as a private property your details should not appear on the Food Standards website as it is considered exempt and private.