16 Dec Labelling for Selling your Homemade Foods
What starts out as a hobby can quickly turn into a business, as many small business owners found out during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021. With money being tight, savvy crafters and makers started to produce their wares in bulk and begin selling them online. For the lucky ones, this created business opportunities they might never have otherwise explored.
There are many things to think about when you begin your kitchen table business, and for it to be successful, then the fine details matter. The first thing you need to think about is registering yourself as a self-employed business. Down the line if your turnover exceeds £85,000, you’ll need to become VAT registered too, but before that happens you need to get things up and running.
During the pandemic, the nation became obsessed with baking. Do you remember the banana bread craze? So many people were baking that the shops continually sold out of flour! Since then, baking businesses have popped up all over social media, and with the convenience of having baked goods delivered straight to your door they are never short of orders!
But as with any food making business, there are strict rules and regulations to follow, in order to keep your customers safe, and to also safeguard yourself.
If you’re selling any food for consumption, then you need to register with the Food Standards Agency and comply with the regulations of the Food Safety Act 1990. The rules apply to any size of business however large or small and regardless of whether you operate from home or a commercial premises. Registration is free and is a legal requirement wherever food is prepared, and you must also register with your local authority at least 28 days prior to trading.
Labelling homemade foodstuffs
Making sure customers are safe by warning them of the potential food allergens in your products is essential. It ensures that consumers can safely enjoy your product whilst developing trust in your brand. Cases where food companies have failed to bring attention to allergens have not only made for bad press, but in some cases ended in tragedy.
Your food products labels must have their ingredients listed if they contain 2 or more (including additives). They must be in order of weight with the main ingredient first.
In order that allergens are easy to see, you must highlight them on the label using a different font colour or style. There are 14 that you must list if they are included in your ingredients. They are:
- cereals containing gluten – including wheat, rye, barley and oats
- crustaceans – including prawns, crab and lobster
- molluscs – including squid, mussels, cockles, whelks and snails
- sesame seeds
- soya beans
- sulphur dioxide or sulphites at levels above 10mg per kilogram or per litre
‘May Contain’ text
It’s important to point out that product labels often list ingredients that they ‘may contain’. This doesn’t mean that they do contain these allergens, it just means that the product may have been prepared in an area where these allergens are present. The risk is minimal, but a risk nonetheless.
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We are a specialist labels company who supply plain and pre-printed labels to the food and drink, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and logistics sectors throughout the UK. Get in touch with us here.