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It’s not always easy to run a successful food business. It can take time to develop your concept and find the best distributors, and it often involves working long unsociable hours.
Every surface in the room or room where food is made needs to be considered. This includes the floor, walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and every other surface.
Each should be:
- Maintained in a good condition
- Easy to clean and clean
- Free of mould and condensation
- Free of paint or plaster chips
Walls should be smooth, hard-wearing, washable and in a good state of repair.
Windows, hatches, and doors must be made so that dirt doesn’t get stuck. Any opening to the outside world must have screens that keep bugs out and can be taken out to clean.
Style and decoration are up to you, but the best place to make your product must meet strict rules and let you cook food safely (even if it is your actual home).
- Enough air circulation and drainage
- Enough light
- Enough sinks for staff to wash their hands, as well as materials for cleaning and drying
- There are separate sinks for cleaning and washing food.
- Running hot and cold water that is safe to drink.
- Places where you can change clothes
- storage space for utensils and equipment
Whether the tools you use to make your products are new or old, they must all be kept in good order, repair, and condition. Anything that comes in contact with food must be cleaned and disinfected often enough to avoid getting sick.
With creation comes waste, particularly where food is concerned, so it’s vital to have adequate facilities for its storage and disposal. What’s more, you should remove food waste and other rubbish as soon as practicable to avoid build-up and attracting pests.
It makes sense that hygiene and health and safety rules are stricter in the food industry than in most other fields. You must have a written health and safety policy if you have five or more employees. However, having one is a good idea even if you don’t have that many. Remember that it’s your job to ensure your team is trained to use equipment safely and act safely.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made a guide to help small and medium-sized businesses understand health and safety.
No matter what food you make, you need to do a fire risk assessment and then take the right fire safety steps to protect the people who work and visit your place.
Before making changes to your building, it’s a good idea to talk to someone about fire safety. You can get help from your local fire department and learn more on the Health and Safety Executive website on the fire and explosion pages.
The three main types of pests in the food industry are:
Make sure to look for signs of pests like broken packaging, droppings, and live or dead insects. Research exterminators and keep a list of their contact information on hand. You must act quickly if you want to limit the damage caused by an infestation. Investing in packaging that keeps pests out is a good idea and may save you money in the long run. However, it will still be prudent to keep up your checks as a matter of course.
Your local government must know about your food business at least 28 days before it opens. It can’t be changed, but it’s free, which is good news. Registration will be required for all food businesses that serve customers directly, as well as if you prepare, cook, store, handle, or distribute food. Food businesses should also register if they work in food distribution or food supply and have an office. This is true even if there is no food at the place.
There are a few exceptions, like food businesses that make, prepare, or handle meat, fish, egg, or dairy products for other businesses and may need approval from a local authority instead of just registration.
Once you are registered, your local government may come and check on you. Getting a top rating (5) on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is an important way to keep customers’ trust, so it pays to ensure everything is in good shape.
- Not only should you be passionate about food, but also about people.
- Always be honest, punctual and friendly with suppliers and stockists.
- Find out as much as you can about your direct competitors.
- Make sure you know the rules about food and how to keep it clean.
- Be as frugal as possible in the early days of your business to develop good financial responsibility.
- Expect to work long, hard, and unsocial hours.
- The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the government agency in the UK that protects public health regarding food.
- Safe and Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) is a food safety standard given to safe and legal food producers and suppliers.
- The Grocery Accelerator is a program that helps food and drink brands grow by giving them money and advice.
- The National Caterers Association is a business group that helps caterers.
When you want to start a food business, there are many things to consider. In addition to making a unique and tasty product, there are many other things to keep in mind, such as facilities, equipment, staff, rules, hygiene, and more.
Once your business is registered, you should know that:
- A food inspection will be carried out, and this will give you your first food hygiene rating;
- There are 14 allergens that you will need to tell your customers about;
- Food poisoning will be a big problem for your business, and
- Our Business Rates service will need to know.
If you want to sell alcohol or stay open past 11 p.m., you will need a premises licence.
A food business won’t make much money unless you plan to sell to big supermarket chains and go global. If you’re money driven, this may not be your business.
Any initial profits are likely to be put back into the business, and food products don’t usually have huge profit margins when everything is considered.
As you’d expect, food manufacturing is fraught with legislation to combat the eventuality of food poisoning and contamination. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of red tape, this is not your business.