The city council are supporting the new campaign from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) calling for all new food businesses to register.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in new food businesses, in particular those based in people’s homes and a number of existing food businesses are now under new ownership. Although most food businesses have registered, many others are known to be failing to register with their local authority.
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 and it’s an offence not to do so. Businesses must register whether selling online, via social media sites, trade from a physical customer-facing premises or simply selling food from a home kitchen.
Norwich City Councillor Beth Jones, cabinet member for food safety, said:
“We’ve seen a big increase in people selling food from their homes in the city over the course of the pandemic.
“That’s why we’re working to support businesses in Norwich to make sure they’re registering and keeping us informed of changes to their businesses.
“Registration is free and can’t be refused. If you’re already trading and haven’t registered yet, please do so soon as possible as this is a legal requirement or get in touch with our food safety team to check whether your business needs to be registered.”
Without registration the city council’s food and safety team cannot assess whether food is being produced safely, provide appropriate advice, or give a Food Hygiene Rating – which helps consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards. The council 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.”
Find out more about registering your food business on the food safety pages.