The Comhairle regularly receives enquiries relating to the operation of food businesses from home.
The laws on food safety apply just the same to a business run from home as they do to all other commercial premises. You will be liable to regular inspections by one of our officers and your kitchen and procedures will be checked to ensure compliance with food safety standards. This also applies if you are Using a Kitchen Somewhere Else to Prepare Food, for example a village or community hall kitchen.
Registering as a Food Business
It is likely that your home will have to be registered with the Comhairle as a food business. This is free, and there is only one simple form to fill in, but it is a legal requirement and you can be prosecuted if you do not register before starting.
You may need to attend a food hygiene training course. One of the main requirements of the law is that all food handlers must know enough about food safety to allow them to work safely. This usually means passing a training course in food hygiene, at a level which is appropriate to the type of food being prepared.
There are several options available for Food Hygiene Training (20.1kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) in the Western Isles.
Food Safety Management System
A major requirement of the food safety legislation is that food business operators carry out a “hazard analysis” of their business to highlight where the potential risks are likely to occur and more importantly how these risks will be controlled. It is a requirement to document this process. The amount of documentation needed will depend on the size and type of the business.
You may find the following Guide (130.3kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) useful as a basic HACCP document.
The Food Standards Agency has produced a Guide to Starting a Food Business (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Food Standards Scotland has also developed information especially for Childminders (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).
Please Contact Us if you require further information.