Fenland District Council is reminding new food businesses that they need to register their services by law, following an online boom in business during the Covid-19 pandemic.
There has been a big increase in the number of new food businesses starting up from home and advertising via social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, in the past year - with the Food Standards Agency estimating a 44 per cent increase nationally.
Now the Council is reminding local businesses and residents that anyone who produces or even just repackages food or drink from a home setting or mobile vehicle is required by law to register with the authority. This is to ensure they are meeting the legal requirements, such as producing food in hygienic conditions and having adequate allergen labelling.
You can find out more and register for free on our Food Registration webpage.
Cllr Samantha Hoy, Fenland District Council's Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health, said: "It is fantastic to see our residents diversifying and creating new business opportunities, especially in this climate. However, it is vitally important that local food businesses, however small, are registered with us.
"It is a legal requirement, so please make sure you register before you supply the public. Our Environmental Health team can guide you through the process and make sure you're operating within the food safety guidelines."
New businesses should register at least 28 days before opening. Registration is free and can't be refused. Businesses that are already trading and have not registered need to do so as soon as possible.
Anyone who prepares, stores, handles, distributes, or sells food to customers needs to register. This includes voluntary supplies, those handling and repackaging sweets into gift boxes and companies involved with food distribution or food supply that operate from an office, even if no food is kept at the premises
For advice and guidance on setting up a food business, including information about the requirements on food hygiene and safety, training, food packaging/labelling, and control of allergens, visit the Food Standards Agency website.
The Council's Environmental Health Team are happy to answer any specific queries relating to the registration process and/or advice related to food safety. Enquires can be made by contacting 01354 654321 or by emailing email@example.com.