New food business advice

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Before starting your business you must;

Register with the local authority in which you are trading 28 days before starting your business. If you operate a mobile food vehicle or stall you will need to register with the local authority where you store your vehicle overnight.

If you operate (or store your vehicle) in Tonbridge & Malling register with us.

Once we receive the Registration form, we will enter your business on our database and schedule an inspection. We do not announce our inspections unless you operate from a domestic address when we will make an appointment.

What regulations apply?

The key regulations are

  1. Regulation (EC) no. 852/2004 (especially Article 5 and Annex II, for training and most other matters
  2. The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 (regarding temperature control).

Regulation 852 requires food handlers to have adequate training, appropriate to the activities they are doing.

What must be considered before opening?

You will need to demonstrate the safety of the food you produce and sell.

You should consider each potential problem and work out how you will control any potential problem at each of the following stages:

  • recipes, sourcing ingredients, preparation, avoiding cross contamination
  • cooking, cooling
  • packaging
  • shelf life
  • storage
  • transport
  • point of sale
  • labelling.

If the products could support bacterial growth, for example cream cakes, you must consider temperature control (below 8C in fridge or above 63C for foods kept hot). It is important to think how you will store, transport and display these foods.

If you are packaging your products for sale in a shop or farmers market, you will need to label your foods - contact Trading Standards (Telephone 03000 412 000). In any case, even if the product is provided unwrapped, your customer will still require some information about the ingredients (especially common allergens) and the product's shelf life.

What training & advice can the council give?

The Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering (formerly called the Basic or Foundation course) is appropriate for most food handlers of open high risk food. Courses are offered by ourselves and other West Kent Local Authorities.

Use a pack called Safer Food Better Business (SFBB), which can be downloaded and printed from the Food Standards Agency's website www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/sfbb/. The pack is also available in other languages.

Further Information

The Food Standards Agency leaflet

Food Standards Agency guidance:

Trading Standards advice for small businesses on food labelling and composition

Contact us