6 Ways to Ensure Food Safety as a Business at Home
With many of us spending more time at home now than ever before, our houses have become our workplaces. Home offices are becoming increasingly common, and the domestic kitchen is currently the closest thing to an office for the chef and the caterer. Suppose you’ve recently discovered a love of cooking, baking or cheesecake making in your kitchen that you’re sharing with paying customers. In that case, you need to ensure food safety as a business at home!
Unfortunately, it isn’t quite as simple as buying a new stack of euro containers to store your ingredients. Though sensible equipment is vital in preserving food quality, there are specific guidelines to follow as a caterer from the Food Standards Agency. Here are 6 ways that you need to ensure food safety as a business at home!
Register Yourself as a Food Business
Before you can start selling your goods, you’ve got to inform the government that you’re planning on doing so. HMRC will require you to register as self-employed, and failure to do so could result in you receiving a hefty fine or a criminal charge in extreme cases. Should your business already be established as a limited company, all you’ll need to do is visit gov.uk to confirm specifics like your address.
Perform a Risk Assessment
You’re legally required to assess your workspace for risks, but beyond this, a risk assessment helps you to identify areas of your kitchen that could threaten food safety. A kitchen that complies with HSE guidance is guaranteed to keep you healthy as an occupant, and your food will retain quality as a result. Without an assessment, you can’t be sure of the safety measures you need to implement in your kitchen.
Complete Food Hygiene Training
Certification isn’t a requirement to run a food business, but you will need to demonstrate that you can uphold the highest standards of food handling, preparation, storage and serving. Pursuing a qualification in food safety is one of the quickest ways to increase your knowledge and ensure that your business operates with cleanliness as a priority. You will also be better equipped to determine appropriate personal protection equipment for a clean uniform.
Carefully Consider Allergens
Food safety doesn’t just include cleanliness and pest control! When you’re producing and providing food, you may also need to cater to dietary restrictions. Every product that you offer needs to have accurate ingredient information available so that your consumers can make an informed choice. You also need to store your ingredients separately to avoid cross-contamination; otherwise, allergens can be present in items where they aren’t labelled.
Provide Adequate Packaging
Primarily if your product is obtained through delivery, your packaging must be durable, so the food is safe to consume. While plastic stacking bins may suit your food storage needs in the kitchen and preserve your food quality during transport, you can’t give your containers to your customers! Extra wrapping in the form of cling film or tin foil creates a barrier between the bacteria in the air and your product.
Source Ingredients Wisely
Though you may purchase your ingredients in full belief that they’re safe to consume, it is your responsibility to assess the quality of items making your food. Only purchase from reputable providers, closely check the use-by dates on items before accepting delivery and be cautious if you have reason to believe ingredients haven’t previously been stored safely. Your business and reputation will ultimately be held responsible for any illnesses caused by your product, even if ingredients are to blame.
For further advice on securing safe equipment for running a food business from home, contact us at Onit Direct.