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New food businesses reminded to register before opening

Food Standards Agency

We want to remind all food businesses in Dacorum that they must register with us 28 days before opening.

We are supporting a new campaign from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), calling for all new food businesses to register with us by visiting the Food Standards Agency website.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in food businesses based in people’s homes. Since March 2020, 37 per cent of new food ventures registering through the FSA’s digital service, Register a Food Business, are run from domestic kitchens at private addresses. We also know that many are also failing to register with their environmental health teams as a food business.

These sellers are potentially putting consumers at risk as they may have little knowledge of food safety.

All food businesses have a legal obligation to register with us 28 days prior to opening, it’s an offence not to do so. Businesses must register whether selling online, via social media sites, trading from a physical customer-facing premises or simply selling food from a home kitchen.

Without registration we cannot assess the nature of the business, provide appropriate advice or give a Food Hygiene Rating, where appropriate. We can also help home caterers and those who sell online to identify when their hobby may have developed into a food business.

Councillor Julie Banks, our Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “We have seen a huge increase in people selling food from their homes over the course of the pandemic.

“That’s why we’re working with the FSA to support businesses in Dacorum to ensure they are registering and keeping us informed of changes to their businesses.

“Registration is free and can’t be refused. If you are already trading and have not registered yet, you need to get register as soon as possible as this is a legal requirement.”

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 on the Food Standards Agency website.

Not sure if you should register as a food business? We can help you, visit our Food Safety page for more information.