Setting up a food business can be a daunting task, with a wide range of legislation that must be complied with.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have produced a booklet entitled 'starting up - Your first steps to running a catering business'.
When starting a new food business there are the questions we would ask you to consider:
- Is the food business registered?
All food businesses are required to register their food business at least 28 days before opening. Registration will apply to most types of food business, including catering businesses run from home and mobile or temporary businesses, such as stalls and vans.
- Health and Safety Requirements
Please be aware of the need to ensure you cover health and safety requirements for your food business.
- Food labelling
Do you describe food and drink accurately?
- Do you need street trading consent?
If you plan to trade within the Telford area you may require a street trading licence. This will mean that street trading on any public parts of any of the designated streets will need to apply for consent to trade. View more information about street trading.
- Premises licence
Do you need to apply for a licence to sell alcohol?
- Have you got a trade waste agreement?
All business are required to have proper arrangements for the collection of their trade refuse. Collection can only be carried out by a person legally authorised to do so. You will also need to consider how to correctly dispose of fats, oils & grease produced by your business.
- Is planning permission required?
The local authority will be able to help if there are any issues with regard to planning permission or change of use.
- Does your food business want a competitive edge?
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- Food hygiene training
Food businesses should make sure that food handlers in a food business are trained and or supervised/instructed in food matters in line with their work activities. Please be advised that there are other training providers available.
- Food Safety Management System
All food businesses are required to have written systems in order to show how they make sure the food they provide is safe to eat. Businesses can produce their own systems based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles or use a safer food better business information pack. If you would like to order an Safer food better business pack or diary refill, this can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website and the link is above.
- Business Specific Advice
Visit specific business advice for assistance.
- Advice for commercial catering from home
It is becoming increasingly popular to start and run a business from your own home. When food is involved this can present a whole range of new problems that need to be considered properly before starting out. The laws on food safety apply just the same to a business run from home as to any other commercial premises.
- Hand washing
Hand washing is the single most important method of reducing the spread of infection. Hands must be washed frequently with warm water and soap. While preparing food, especially between handling raw and ready-to-eat foods, after using the toilet, after touching the dustbin and when they look dirty. Domestic kitchens are not usually fitted with a separate wash hand basin, which is a major requirement of the law. Arrangements must therefore be made to enable food handlers to wash their hands. A wash hand basin in a downstairs bathroom will be acceptable.
- National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
Once you have registered with your Local Authority your business will be programmed for a food hygiene inspection. As part of the inspection your business will be given a rating as part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The scoring criteria is explained further under the rating scheme on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website.
Last updated: 6.12pm on Thursday 19 December 2019