Newark and Sherwood District Council reminds all local food businesses that they must register with them 28 days before opening

Posted on: Wednesday, March 2, 2022

A new campaign from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), supported by Newark and Sherwood District Council is calling for all new food businesses to register themselves 28 days before opening.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in food businesses based in people’s homes. Since March 2020,  37% of new food ventures registering through the FSA’s digital service ‘Register a Food Business’, are run from domestic kitchens at private addresses. 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 their local authority 28 days prior to opening, it is 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.

If you’re already trading and have not registered, you need to do this as soon as possible. You may be fined, imprisoned for up to two years, or both if you run a food business without registering.

Without registration the nature of the business cannot be assessed, and advice or Food Hygiene Ratings cannot be provided where appropriate. Registering can also help home caterers and those who sell online to identify when their hobby may have developed into a food business.

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.”

Councillor Rita Crowe, Chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Licensing Committee, 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 Newark and Sherwood 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 registered as soon as possible as this is a legal requirement.”

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