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Has anyone set up as a home bakery in the UK?

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  • Has anyone set up as a home bakery in the UK?

    I've been told I need to get my kitchen inspected by the council if I want to make and sell cakes, having looked into it I'm getting really confused. Some people have said I need to have seperate fridges, equipment etc others have said they just want to see that the place is clean (which it is). Has anyone gone through this process and can offer advise? Also I do have pets so I'm concerned that they will cause a problem. I have a dog and two cats, all of who are well behaved and are removed from the kitchen if I do any form of baking. Please help its startingt o drive me up the wall!

  • #2
    My mother in law has her kitchen inspected by her council as she makes wedding cakes and sugar craft. She uses her ordinary fridge etc., but she has no pets. The best thing would be to have a chat with the council as they will advise on all relevant regulations and possible courses/literature that could be helpful.

    Roger

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    • #3
      Your first stop should be your local environmental health department through your council.
      Each area will have different hoops to go through. I was in surrey 14 years ago when I had to have my kitchen approved due to providing childminding meals. They made me fill out forms, attend a short course covering the basics about hygiene and sinks and food storage etc. they then came out, inspected my kitchen and took swabs. I was told that they could drop by at anytime in the future and do a site spot check, but they never did in the time I remained there.
      full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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      • #4
        My neighbour looked at this but she had to have a separate kitchen and fridge etc as she had a dog, so decided against. Think you need to speak to your local council and trading standards they will advise you of the requirements in your area. You may shut the pets out when cooking but fur flies and will still remain around, hence the separate kitchen. You will also need to have a hygiene certificate.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your replies everyone! Caroline if your friend decided against it did she just decide not to make cakes anymore or did she carry on? I'd like to be above board but if I have to have a seperate kitchen it will be impossible. I'm not making any money on it as it is and I'm really just supplying friends and doing the odd village fete with cupcakes. I just wanted to be legal and aware of all of the latest info.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Baker&Maker View Post
            Thanks for your replies everyone! Caroline if your friend decided against it did she just decide not to make cakes anymore or did she carry on? I'd like to be above board but if I have to have a seperate kitchen it will be impossible. I'm not making any money on it as it is and I'm really just supplying friends and doing the odd village fete with cupcakes. I just wanted to be legal and aware of all of the latest info.
            As a food producer you would also need to have insurance and your insurance would be invalid if you hadn't gone through the correct registration hoops in the first place
            full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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            • #7
              So technically you can still do it but you would be illegal and run the risk of getting sued personally if someone choked on a dog hair in one of my cakes?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Baker&Maker View Post
                Thanks for your replies everyone! Caroline if your friend decided against it did she just decide not to make cakes anymore or did she carry on? I'd like to be above board but if I have to have a seperate kitchen it will be impossible. I'm not making any money on it as it is and I'm really just supplying friends and doing the odd village fete with cupcakes. I just wanted to be legal and aware of all of the latest info.
                She did not make to sell as she would not have been able to get the needed insurance cover etc plus the costs of another kitchen would have been ridiculous but with pets it was quite clear she could not use a domestic kitchen to cook for other than family and visitors.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Baker&Maker View Post
                  So technically you can still do it but you would be illegal and run the risk of getting sued personally if someone choked on a dog hair in one of my cakes?
                  It is not worth losing your home for and if you are not making money on it is it worth the trouble anyway. To recap to make to sell you have to have a hygiene certificate, insurance, separate kitchen etc checks by the council. To make for yourself is fine but any public event is a no go.

                  Not just a dog hair if a cat walks over a preparation service and has trodden in something undesirable and customers go down with a stomach bug, the health people will trace back the source and again you could lose your home and more.

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                  • #10
                    So how do all of these other small bakery businesses do it? I have about a zillion on my facebook page and I very much doubt they dont all have a seperate kitchen. I agree I'm happy to get things like insurances etc but i couldnt do the seperate kitchen, how is that even feasible for a tiny start up business?

                    Also just to add my cats dont ever walk on the surfaces. I wouldnt have cats if they did.

                    Thanks for the advice Caroline I do appreciate it, its just so frustrating trying to get this all sorted! You kind of feel like its all set up so that you dont bother!

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                    • #11
                      I have a friend who does have a cat and has got the hygiene certificate, insurance etc too. As each council has different standards and requirements you are best asking them to clarify for you.
                      full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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                      • #12
                        A friend of mine has just setup a cake making biz...

                        He uses the local pubs kitchen for a small fee. Best and simplest way in my opinion as insurance is all in place.

                        Maybe that could work for you?
                        .


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                        • #13
                          Hi there,

                          I think your first step is really check with local council about what they expect from you. Each council is different and I can see that the fact you have pets might go against you. If they are O.K. about it, then go ahead and arrange the rest (formal registration with the council, Food Hygiene certificate, product and liability insurance and you need to inform your morgage & home insurance people).

                          Hope it goes well for you.
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                          • #14
                            As others have said, it varies according to your council - they all have different requirements, within a broad range of guidelines.

                            I have a friend with a flourishing home baking business and a cat as well as a certificate from EH.
                            One of the reasons she lives in the area she does is that the neighbouring council will not even inspect a home kitchen if there is a cat in the house, but her council, which is rural, looks at the entire picture.
                            As long as the animal can be and is shut out of the kitchen (so no open-plan designs) they are willing to consider it on a case-by-case basis.

                            All you can do is find out the requirements of your local council's EH department and see if you can comply with them. Best of luck!


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                            • #15
                              EVERY council seems to have different rules and regs!! No idea why, you would expect everyone to work to the same standards, but no it seems not!!!

                              When I originally registered 4.5yrs ago, I had 2 cats and a dog, no seperate kitchen, one sink, and a washing machine that went into the same drain as my kitchen sink, which I had been told were all no-no's by various other people, but my EHO was fine!!! I don't have the cats anymore (:-( ) but I do still have my dog, and he isn't allowed in the kitchen when I'm working (he isn't allowed in at anytime to be fair, but that was all the EHO stipulated!!!)

                              I had my first inspection in November last year (nearly 4yrs after registering!!) and got 5*, the highest possible!! I still don't have a seperate kitchen, fridge or sink, but as cake making is such low risk, the council were fine about it!! As long as you don't intend using any fresh cream or cream cheese products you should be ok!!!

                              With regards to the hundreds of cake companies on facebook, I'm with you, I'm guessing most of them haven't done any of the necessary, and probably have no idea that you are supposed too!! I think most EHO departments are so overwhelmed with the number of people starting up off the bake of things like GBBO etc, they just don't have the time!

                              Having a Health and Hygiene certificate is not a legal requirement, but is looked upon favourably by your EHO, as you have taken the time to do it off your own back. I do mine on line, and it's quite straight forward and only costs about £30! Definitely have P&PL insurance!! Most reputable markets etc won't let you sell without it!!!

                              It's also worth speaking to your mortgage company/landlord before hand as well as sometimes you are not allowed to run a business from home, also check with your household insurance too!!

                              It's sounds like a lot to sort out, but it's not really, just a few phone calls!! Oh and get yourself a digital thermometer so you can check the temps of your oven, fridge and baked goods once they come out of the oven!!

                              If you go to the Food Standards Agency website, you can download a copy of the Safer Food, Better Business pack which is what your EHO will give you and expect you to work by! As cakes are considered low risk, there isn't much in there to worry about, but it does have a diary that you will need to keep for what and when you bake!!!

                              Sorry for the ramble, hope it helps!! Just give me a shout if you have any questions!!!

                              x
                              My Website :http://www.angelcakesessex.co.uk
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