Whether you are selling from home or selling from premises, there are rules you should implement before selling food online. You must provide safety, traceability, withdrawal and recall procedures.
Use in conjunction with
Distance selling means – selling either by
- Text messaging
- Interactive TV
- Mail order
- Social media pages
- Online marketplaces
(Source Government website)
Setting Up – you must:
- Business must be registered 28 days before opening, with the environmental health.
- Name of food on the packet
- List of Ingredients
- List in bold allergens
- Quantity of ingredients
- Net ingredients
- Use by date.
- Special storage conditions e.g., store in a fridge
- Name and address of business
- Instructions for use
- Nutrition declaration
- Food hygiene certification
- Inspection of premises
Delivery of foods sent by post or courier – all foods must be delivered in a way that ensures that it remains fit for human consumption. Foods that need refrigerating should be delivered as quickly as possible, ideally overnight, and may require packing in an insulated box with a coolant gel, or in a cool bag. Any packaging should be capable of protecting the food against mechanical damage and sources of contamination while it is in transit.
(Source text Trafford Gov UK)
Examples non-prepacked food sold online is packed for direct sale or supply to consumers.
- Supermarket deli counters and bakeries
- Pizza shops
- Fish and chip shops
- Chinese or Indian restaurants
- Butchers that supply ‘meat boxes’
- Traders or growers that supply ‘fruit and vegetable boxes’
- Menu planning/recipe box services
- Businesses that make food such as bread, cakes, chocolates, juices, and ethnic food at home and sell directly to the consumer online
These non-prepacked foods ruling changes in October 2021 see Natasha’s law below.
You must adhere to distance selling is the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. This applies to all goods sold by distance selling and selling food. You must provide:
- The information which the seller needs to provide to the purchase before making the sale.
- Rights to cancel the contract.
- Recovery of sums paid on cancellation.
- Restoration of goods by the consumer after cancellation.
Excellent Allergen Information VS Extremely Poor Allergen Information
Excellent – Sacred Chow
Thank you to Sacred Chow for permission to use their website for comparison, please check out their website.
- Allergen Link on every page
- Comprehensive information and contact details.
- Breakdown of allergens in each dish.
- FSA rating 5 – premises checked and food courses taken
- Information about the company, giving credibility
- Trustpiliot ratings
- Traceability of food
- Established company
- Website, taken time to portray their product
Extremely Poor – Social Media Advert
- No allergen warnings
- No ingredients
- No sell/use by date
- No FSA rating, premises not checked, and no food courses taken
- Only contact details is via social media chat
- No information about the company
- No ratings
- No traceability of food
- No proof if established company
- No website
It is advisable to have liability insurance.
Distance selling, mail order and delivery Gov UK
Food safety inspections and enforcement
Food policy eBay
Amazon selling food.
Food safety inspections and enforcement
EU Business Companion website
The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002
labelling (Article 9 of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation No.1169/11)
Nutrition and health claims: guidance to compliance with Regulation (EC) 1924/2006
Advice to businesses selling food online.
Food Sold Online Guidance for local authorities.
Selling and buying food online – Q&A
Natasha’s legacy becomes law Gov UK
Natasha’s Law Checklist Nutrictics
Packaging and labelling Legal requirements that you have to follow as a food business Gov UK
Precautionary allergen labelling FSA
This information is only given as guidance and not extensive. Information to be used at individual’s responsibility. Always seek medical advice.
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