Selling food

I've been trying to make sense of the food hygiene legislation and, quite honestly, I'm a bit confused. I'm not planning (yet) on setting up full time, but would quite like to make and sell cakes, jams, etc. at craft fairs or perhaps on ebay. Do I really need to have a certified kitchen?

I'm fairly certain there are people on here who make and sell food - any hints and tips would be most welcome!


  • My knowledge on this isn't up-to-date, so I'm sure there are others on here better qualified to give advice but, as far as I recall:

    The kitchen doesn't have to be certified, as such, but all of the food hygiene legislation rules apply, whatever the size/turnover/commercial model or your kitchen.... and I presume you could be inspected at any time.

    So you have to have all the separate hand-washing facilities and everything else that the legislation requires (within the prcaticalities of your set-up), plus have some degree of HACCP documentation in place.



  • It also differs between councils I've found (inspections/requirements for your kitchen). The best thing to do is to give them a ring...there's normally a team of people that can advise. Also, if you are renting you might want to check your tenancy agreement as to whether it allows you to run a business from the premises.

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    If you are selling food, and it's not simply a charity bake sale or something, then you need hygiene certification for your kitchen, and your council will also likely give you a checklist that you're supposed to fill in each time you work on and sell the food (it's possible that your checklists could be audited - easy to cheat but who wants to?  It's good practice.).  There are free council run courses to attend for your own certification, and it is highly likely that your kitchen will receive a visit for its certification.

    You would also need insurance if it's a business.  Not for your premises if it's a small turnover like cakes, but product and personal liability insurances.  Any broker can give you a quote, the size of which depends on your projected earnings.

  • you also need to inform your house insurance that you are running a business from home........and if you use your car to deliver any products then your car insurance company need to be informed

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    Contact your local environmental health officer at t'council
  • your council will also likely give you a checklist that you're supposed to fill in each time you work on


  • Sarah

    My m-i-l does this as a small business,  she had to get some certification from the local council but I don't think it was too onerous and she does everything from the kitchen at home.  I'll get some details and let you know if that's useful.


  • It sounds old fashioned, I know, but a lot of women round here started off by working with the WI so they could get some idea of what was required, places to source materials and ingredients, and make contacts.
  • Thanks for all of the replies. I'll get in touch with the council and see what the rules are around here. I don't want to start off a fully fledged business (yet - one day maybe!) but just sell occasionally. Hopefully there won't be too much red tape! image

  • Gluten free and /or lactose free would be very popular
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    A friend of mine does this already and craft fairs and our local council turn a blind eye. Because it's not really considered a 'commercial' venture - you dont need a license or certification.

  • by 'eck, it's hilly wrote (see)
    Gluten free and /or lactose free would be very popular

    That's the sort of thing I wanted to do. Being coeliac myself I know just how hard it is to find nice, reasonably priced baked goods! I've had a bit of practice making food for special diets, so I thought it would be worth a try image

  • And if you can do mail order.....

    There is a huge demand for this stuff at food and craft markets.

    Do you have any good recipes for a really tricky gluten,lactose, soya and nut free diet?
  • Anything in particular? Sweet, savoury, specific type of cuisine? 

  • Anything, literally. He eats pretty much anything I put in front of him but we are tending to stick to stews cos they are full of good stuff, calorific and easy to freeze
  • Just off the top of my head - there are lots of rice based dishes that would easily miss out on those allergens. Risotto, pilaf, paella, jambalaya, biryani... you can play about with flavours as much as you like with rice! 

    Some of the Dove Farm pasta is free from gluten, milk, nuts and soya, so you could easily do pasta dishes.

    I'll have a bit more of a think... 

  • Cheers. Pm me if you don't want me to hijack this thread
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