This is one of the most frequently asked questions among people who are considering to start their own food business, prepare food at home and sell it in bakeries, bars, at home or on the internet.
These are generally people who have a very good talent for cooking and who are motivated by their family and friends to make their hobby their profession. Given the risks involved in starting a business, they prefer to be prudent, start at home and assess whether it is successful.
In most cases, one has a tendency to treat the business in the same way as one who has the ability to make scarves, mugs or notebooks and sell them in a store or to a private individual. We are making food, with the risk that this entails. So it’s not enough that the food is tasty and liked, we need to ensure that it’s not a risk to the people who eat it. The customer must be given the confidence that it is safe food.
The same health and hygiene legislation must be complied with as any other food business.
There are five main aspects to consider:
Layout plans of your kitchen
This is an essential aspect that many people overlook when starting their kitchen project at home, it is very likely that you have a very clear idea of the space in your house to use and what you need to do, but having a layout plan will make things easier for you and will greatly reduce the margin for mistakes and unforeseen events that can lead to discomfort and extra expenses.
Depending on the type of business, you will need equipment with standard measurements, and some with customizable measurements such as tables for example, all equipment and work areas are related to each other, either directly or indirectly, most likely the space you will use in your home is limited and you will need to get the most out of it, you will need the layout plan to have things defined from the beginning.
Facilities and structure
The house must comply with the same standards that are required for food facilities and this is not always feasible. The most important risk is that of cross-contamination. Consideration of materials, refrigeration equipment, processing flow, utensils and equipment must be taken into account.
You must take into account the reception of supplies if you plan to have a commercial kitchen in your house, how you are going to receive the food? where it will be stored? you must establish a previous logistics for all those concerns.
To avoid cross-contamination it is necessary to maintain high levels of hygiene in the reception and storage of products and packaging. Raw materials received must be correctly identified and treated according to a control plan, which takes into account safety parameters (microbiological, chemical, presence of allergens.
The requirement to be included in the General Sanitary Registry of Foods or in a regional registry must be assessed. This will depend on several factors, including the autonomous community where the business is carried out, the type of potential client and the activity to be carried out.
Being registered, is guaranteeing that your food complies with the regulations and consequently, is a security guarantee both for you and for your clients. You have to know also that some communities have a prohibition of food production in the house, so you will have to consider other options.
Implementation of a sanitation guide
This guide is a comprehensive study of the possible risks to your food and the preventative measures you can take to avoid contamination. It is mandatory for all food companies, but the most important thing is that it is a highly valuable tool to ensure the safety of the food that is produced, especially when the control must be more extreme, as is the case in homes.
The study includes: Training of handlers in food safety and hygiene, water control, pests, cleaning of facilities, processing processes, allergens.
If the food is sold in packages, these must comply with the labelling law, indicating: Name, expiry or best before dates, lot, indication of allergens, nutritional information.
The fulfillment of these aspects guarantees that the entrepreneur prioritizes health above any other aspect. If the contamination of the food is not controlled, the risk of intoxication increases. Therefore, in order to comply with the indicated requirements, far from thinking about sanctions and fines for health, it is necessary to think about making sure that our food is safe and that the clients enjoy the food that has been elaborated with so much illusion.
Therefore, sometimes it is not possible to have the food business at home and other times it will be essential to make an investment, both in construction work on the house and in procedures and advice to comply with the legislation.
Image credits: Flickr.com