smallbusiness.co.uk: Helping your business think big

Email a Friend

I 'm considering running a small catering business from my home. Are there rules and regulations which I have to meet.?

You need to get in touch with the Environmental Health Service, Trading Standards Officer and Planning Department of your local authority.

All food businesses must register with the local authority (Food Safety Act). Registration involves filling in a simple form and there is no fee payable. Your local authority should then inspect your kitchen to ensure that the risks to the general public from food poisoning are minimised.

Food handlers have to be trained to the right level for their jobs. So if you want to run a home-based catering business you should probably have some sort of training such as a certificate in basic food hygiene.

Businesses need to be operated to the standards laid down in the Food Safety Regulations. But these regulations, for example, would stipulate that food preparation surfaces and equipment should be easy to clean, be kept clean and be kept in good repair. There are requirements on the correct temperature for chilled food, on the storage and transport of food, on washing facilities, on pets, and lighting and ventilation.

Foods have to be properly labelled, with the name of the food, a list of the ingredients, a 'use by' of 'best before' date and so on. But your Trading Standards Office should be able to give you better information.
Unless you are going to have lots of visitors to the house or producing large quantities of food, you may not need to get planning permission. But check with the Planning Department.

A government website, www.defra.gov.uk, has some additional useful information on issues concerning food and drink.

See also: Government helps to get business up and running

Previous article

A Guide to Running a Business from Home

Next article

Top 10 Property tips

Post a comment

Related

Guide | Office & home working

Working from home

News | Management

Government helps to get business up and running

News | Opportunities

Government helps to get business up and running

News | Management

What insurance do I need for a home-based business?

Small Business Offers

More from Small Business

Starting a Business
How three small businesses raised money and grew

How three small businesses raised money and grew

Here, we look at three companies at different stages of development, how they acquired funds...  

Financing a Business
Key dates to ensure no nasty surprises from the taxman

Key dates to ensure no nasty surprises from the taxman

Here, Nathan Evans helps with the important dates in 2015 that small business owners must...  

News
Only half of UK small businesses feeling positive before Christmas

Only half of UK small businesses feeling positive before Christmas

Younger business owners are most likely to optimistic about the period leading up to Christmas,...  

Blog
If courtesy costs nothing, why is it so rare in business?

If courtesy costs nothing, why is it so rare in business?

David Cliff discusses the decline of common courtesy and how making an effort to be...