Food Businesses From Home

Please note that food laws change, and it is your responsibility to keep up to date with these laws. This page is a guidance and for up-to-date information you should visit Food Standards Agency business guidance, and your local Trading Standards. Please read below for guidance.

Ignorance of the law is not a defence.

The Food Information Regulations 2014, state that businesses have a responsibility to provide accurate allergen information to all customers that request it.

The consequences of poor allergen control can be Death, Food allergies can kill.

Starting a food business from home sounds great but do you know the law? By law you have to certain requirements to supply food from your home.

  1. Register with your local authority as a food business
  2. Food hygiene certificate
  3. Food hygiene inspection
  4. Register as self employed
  5. Getting permission from your mortgage provider or landlord
  6. Insurance
  7. Tax allowances
  8. Business rates
  9. HACCP-based Food Safety Management system
  10. Food hygiene rating
  11. Provide ingredients, including provide allergen information to your customers, and using labelling laws
  12. Handle and manage food allergens effectively in food preparation
  13. Traceability, keep records of all the suppliers that provide you with food or any food ingredients the businesses you supply with food or food ingredients
  14. Be aware of product recalls
  15. GDPR procedures for the data of your customers
  16. Importing and exporting goods
  17. Delivering foods and keeping the food fit for consumption
  18. Vehicle specifications for delivering food
  19. Preventing cross contamination in delivery
  20. Food packaging fit for food that you are supplying

Also see Online And Distance Selling guide before selling.

There are certain controls that the supplier must ensure, these are:

  1. To make sure the product is totally free of the allergen that is declared.
  2. All ingredients and packaging do not contain the allergen that is claimed to be free from.
  3. To make sure there is no cross contamination during production, handling, or storage.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) requirements for labels and packaging must include:

  1. Information for food content should be indelible (of ink or a pen) making marks that cannot be removed. (Definitions from Oxford Languages)
  2. Information must be supplied the name of the food, net quantity of food (weight, or volume if liquid), and alcoholic strength by percentage.

The information must be in a font of 1.2mm, if the surface area of packaging is less than 80cm2 the minimum height of labelling should be 0.9mm.

Prepacked foods

The Food Standards Agency – prepacked foods as: “…any food that is put into its packaging before being put on sale and that cannot be altered without opening or changing the packaging.”

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Non-prepacked foods

Food Standards Agency- non-prepacked foods as foods that are sold loose.

  • Meat or cheese that is sold at a deli counter.
  • Unpackaged bread
  • Vegetables that are sold by weight, for example at a market.
  • Pick ‘n’ mix sweets (including those that are individually wrapped).

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Precautionary allergen labelling FSA

Food Standards Agency – ingredients lists must be on all packaging except for the following:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables that haven’t been peeled, cut or similarly treated
  • Carbonated water that is labelled as ‘carbonated water’
  • Fermented vinegars that are derived from a single, basic product (such as white wine) with no added ingredients
  • Cheese, butter, fermented milk or cream if its only ingredients are lactic products, food enzymes and microorganism cultures that are essential to
    its manufacture
  • Products that consist of a single ingredient where the name of the food is the same as the name of the ingredient or clearly identifies what the ingredient is (for example, peanuts or eggs)
  • Products on which no side of the packaging or container has a surface area larger than 10cm2
  • Products in glass bottles for reuse that have food information indelibly marked on them and have no other labelling (for example, milk bottles)
  • Any alcoholic drink containing over 1.2% alcohol by volume.

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Risk assessment

Precautionary allergen labelling is required once a risk assessment has been conducted and a genuine risk that there may have been an allergen cross-contact which cannot be removed.

Precautionary allergen labelling

A company that cannot rule out cross contamination can put a precautionary allergen warming on the product, but this is not mandatory by law.

  • May contain.
  • Produced in a factory.
  • May contain X.
  • Not suitable for someone with X allergy

Natasha’s Law Gov UK

New laws starting 1st October 2021, for non-pre-packed foods. Rules for PPDS (prepacked for direct sale) foods packaged and produced on their premises, will include: The product has name of the food on packaging. The packaging should have full ingredients list with emphasised allergens in bold, italics or different colour font.

Natasha’s Law Checklist Nutrictics


Allergen labelling changes for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) food

Photo Source FSA post

If you are not sure whether or not some of the foods that you sell need an ingredients list, you can contact your local trading standards office for advice.

Registered with local Authority – Home business

Why not show that you are registered with your local authority? A logo like this one on your website/social media shows that you have had training. Showing people that you are registered gives people confidence in your business, and this may bring more custom for you.

More Links

Starting a food business from home Food Standards Agency

Advice on Preparing Cakes at Home Hammersmith and Fulham Council (Please implement the new law changes with this guide)

Is it PPDS? (Pre Packed for Direct Sale) NCASS

Natasha’s Law Checklist Nutrictics

Managing food safety food Standards Agency

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Food Standards Agency

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Food Standards Agency

Packaging and labelling Food Standards Agency

Imports and exports Food Standards Agency

Food safety for food delivery Food Standards Agency

Businesses that supply or produce food on the move Food Standards Agency

Artisan Food Law  

Advice to businesses selling food online FSA

Allergen control checklist FSA 

Allergen Guidance For Food Businesses FSA

Allergy Training For Food Businesses FSA

Allergen’-Free & Vegan Claims The Food and Drink Federation

Guidance on Running a Food Business FSA



Think Allergy FSA

Allergen and ingredients food labelling decision tool FSA

These lists are guidance only, and not fully extensive, people are advised that it is the responsibility of the individual when using this information.

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