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< Home produced food

Home produced food

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This is an area that covers everything from jams and cakes to frozen and chilled meals and meat products. Special rules and regulations can apply to some of these foods, particularly when making meat, fish and dairy products, which will include pre-packed meals and dishes. If you do not comply with these rules, the consequences can be very serious. It cannot be stressed enough that when thinking about starting such a business you must get advice from your local Environmental Health Department. This leaflet simply gives a few pointers.

1). Making low risk items such as cakes and jams
Generally these present few problems and many people safely produce a range of jams and non-dairy cakes from home. You must make sure you know about the basics of food hygiene and law and also the labelling and shelf-life requirements that apply. Before starting out, contact your local Environmental and Trading Standards department for advice.

2). Making high risk items such as meat, dairy and fish products
These foods are much higher risk because they support the growth of harmful bacteria and are often sold ready to eat without further cooking. A mistake in their preparation and handling can have serious consequences for public health. As a result, many of these products, which include hams, pates, ice-cream, cheeses, yoghurts and prepared foods such as meat pies, lasagne, shepherds pies etc. require approval of the production premises and process under specific legislation. It can be very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to obtain approval for a domestic premises to manufacture these kind of products, even on a small scale. As a result, you will need to plan your operation carefully.

In addition, attractive traditional recipes, which may be perfectly safe for immediate consumption, do not always lend themselves to a production process, packaging or an easily assessable shelf life for prolonged storage.

Although this can sound quite daunting, with a little dedication it is perfectly possible to set up a business to produce these kinds of products and many operate successfully from small units. Before starting out, contact your local Environmental and Trading Standards department for advice.

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