A new campaign from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), supported by Wirral Council, is calling for all new food businesses to register whether selling online, through social media or trade from premises.
Registering a food business is free and can’t be refused. It also means that the council’s Environmental Health teams can provide support to make sure that food businesses are running as they should by providing businesses with up-to-date guidance around food safety and, if suitable, provide Food Hygiene Ratings (something that many people now use when deciding where to eat.)
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in food businesses based in people’s homes – 37% of new food ventures registering through the FSA’s digital service ‘Register a Food Business’ since March 2020, are run from domestic kitchens at private addresses.
All food businesses have a legal obligation to register with the FSA 28 days prior to opening. If businesses are already trading and have not registered yet, this needs to be done as soon as possible.
Michael Jackson, Deputy Director – Head of Regulatory Compliance, at the FSA said, “Local Authorities need to know who is trading in their area and registration is an opportunity to ensure that food businesses have access to relevant guidance and support to help them get it right from the start and to protect consumers.”
Food businesses can get more information at www.food.gov.uk/register
Not sure if you should register as a food business? Read more on the council’s website
A food business includes anyone who sells, cooks, stores, handles, prepares or distributes food on a regular basis and trades through online sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon or eBay as well as from market stalls, food pop-ups and vehicles used to provide and distribute food.
Image: Norma Mortenson