Published: Thursday, 25th February 2021
Food businesses across west Norfolk are being reminded to register with Environmental Health as the pandemic brings an increase in home based traders selling food.
In total, there are 1,670 food businesses registered with Environmental Health in west Norfolk. 172 were registered in the last year, and 61 of these are defined as home caterers – compared to 48 operating from home in the previous year. And, nationally, around 44% of new food businesses that started since the first lockdown are home-based, according to the Food Standards Agency.
Every new food business must register before it starts trading and the borough council is urging anyone who is setting up or thinking of setting up a food business to do so. All companies that register will not only benefit from some free business advice, they will be also be given an official food hygiene rating – and a good rating can be a selling point for a food business.
Councillor Stuart Dark, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services and Public Protection emphasised the importance of registering for public safety: “Over the last year, we’ve seen more food businesses operating from home, in response to the pandemic.
“It is vital that any food business registers with Environmental Health. It is so easy to do and beneficial too - a food safety rating can help to attract customers and demonstrate a company’s commitment to safety.
“Our Environmental Health team is here to support businesses so if you’re running a food business, and not yet registered, please do so.”
Councillor Dark also encouraged the public to check a premise's food hygiene rating before purchase: “People can reassure themselves that businesses are operating with appropriate hygiene and food safety standards by checking the food hygiene rating of the company where you’re buying food.”
In spite of the current restrictions, the Environmental Health team is continuing to operate to ensure the public’s safety, and is using other methods of carrying out some inspections, including through technology.