Setting up a food business from home

If you are setting up a food business from home you still have to comply with food law. It is you responsibility as a food handler to ensure the food you produce is safe to eat. You will need to register as a food business with Stratford-on-Avon District Council. Depending on the scale of production and the food you are producing, most home caterers will be classed as 'low risk'; therefore, your inspection will not take priority. In some cases we may discuss your business over the phone or ask you to complete a 'low risk questionnaire'.

Is my kitchen adequate for a food business?

The kitchen must be constructed so that it can be kept clean and maintained in a good state of repair; surfaces (including walls and floors) must be easy to clean and disinfect.

Hand washing

Hand washing is the most important method of reducing the spread of infection. Most domestic kitchens are not fitted with a separate hand wash basin; therefore, provisions must be made to enable food handlers to wash their hands. This can be done by designating one of the sinks (if you have a one and half sink) as a hand wash basin or installing a separate sink. Dependent on the type of business you are running a hand wash basin in a downstairs bathroom will be adequate. All hand wash basins must be equipped with soap and hand drying facilities.

Pets

If you have pets, they must be kept out of the kitchen at all times. The kitchen needs to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before preparation begins.

Avoiding cross-contamination

Cross-contamination happens when bacteria spread between food, surfaces or equipment. Cross-contamination between raw and cooked food is the most common cause of infection. Tips to avoid cross-contamination:

  • Store raw meat at the bottom of your fridge.
  • After preparing raw foods, ensure you clean and disinfect all surfaces correctly.
  • Wash your hands after handling raw foods.
  • If using re-usable cloths, make sure they are thoroughly washed, disinfected and dried between tasks (not just when they look dirty).
  • Wash all fruit and vegetables.
  • Where possible use separate equipment e.g. colour coded chopping boards.

Safer Food Better Business

Even as a home caterer you must have a food safety management plan in place. The easiest way to comply with this requirement is to follow the guidance issued by the Food Standards Agency. Please refer to our page on Safer Food Better Business.

Food Hygiene Training

You are required by law to ensure that you (and your employees) have appropriate training or supervision in food hygiene in line with your work activity that enables you to handle food safely. Please refer to our training page for further information.

Basic Rules

  • Thoroughly clean and where necessary disinfect your kitchen before preparing food for your business.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling raw food or using the toilet.
  • Do not smoke while preparing food.
  • Do not allow pets in the kitchen while preparing food.
  • Do not leave food uncovered or at room temperature for long periods of time.
  • Store raw foods at the bottom of your fridge.
  • Wear suitable, clean and washable clothing whilst preparing food.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect surfaces and utensils after handling/preparing raw foods.
  • Make sure you have access to a hand wash basin that is equipped with soap and hand drying facilities.

Contact

Last updated on 26/11/2018

Contact the Environmental Health team