Council reminds food businesses to ensure FSA registration

Council reminds food businesses to ensure FSA registration

A new campaign from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council, is calling for all new food businesses to ensure they are registered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in food businesses based in people’s homes. Since March 2020, 32% of new food ventures registering through the FSA’s digital service ‘Register a Food Business’ are run from domestic kitchens at private addresses, with many more failing to register with their environmental health teams as a food business.

These sellers are potentially putting consumers at risk as they may have little knowledge of food safety.

All food businesses within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area have a legal obligation to register with Council 28 days prior to opening as it is 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.

Without registration Council cannot assess the nature of the business, provide appropriate advice or give a Food Hygiene Ratings where appropriate.

Alderman Graham Warke, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “We have seen an increase in people selling food from their homes over the course of the pandemic. That’s why we’re working with the FSA to support businesses within our council area to ensure they are registering and keeping us informed of changes to their businesses.

“Registration is free and cannot be refused. If you are already trading and have not registered yet, you need to get registered as soon as possible as this is a legal requirement.”

Michael Jackson, Deputy Director – Head of Regulatory Compliance, at the FSA said:

“District Councils 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.”