Running a food business

Setting up the business

You should read the Food Standards Agency information on starting a food business.

You will have to register your business with us at least 28 days before you want to start trading. It is free and cannot be refused.

You can find further advice on the legal requirements for disposal of surplus food, labelling, food allergens and packaging on the Business Companion website.

If you want to run a catering or cake making business from home you have to follow the same rules and regulations as other food businesses. We have produced information leaflets to help you: pdf icon preparing food as a home business [214kb] and pdf icon starting a home cake making business [177kb].

All food handlers must undergo training in food hygiene. The level of training depends on the amount and type of food handling you do.

Bespoke food hygiene advice

If you are starting a new food business or want advice on how to improve your rating, we can provide up to two hours of advice. This could include a visit to your premises in the Reading area before you open. This service costs £144. Please complete our Request bespoke food business advice and make your payment, and we will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Courses

We run training courses in food safety to help individuals and businesses understand what they need to do keep food and safe and to help meet the legal requirements for food businesses.

We are currently refreshing our training courses and plan to run the following courses in the upcoming months.

 
CourseDateDurationCost
Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering13 November 2017Full day£70
Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering17 January 2018Full day£70
Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering5 March 2018Full day£70

We will be taking bookings very soon, please revisit this site regularly to book your space. You will need to pass a multiple choice questionnaire to gain your certificate. All courses will be taught in English. With advanced notice, questionnaires can be made available in the following languages: Cantonese, Polish, Portuguese and Turkish.

Due to a change in course provider we are no longer able to offer the Level 2 refresher course in Food Safety in Catering. If you wish to complete food safety training with Reading Borough Council please apply for the 1 day level 2 award in Food Safety in Catering which we recommend is completed every 3 years. 

We can also provide training at your workplace, if necessary.

Inspections

We inspect of all food premises regularly. We do not give notice of our visits.

You can see the food hygiene ratings we awarded.

You can apply for a re-rating inspection if you believe your business has improved. Please complete the revisit request form telling us what you have done to improve since your last inspection and pay £160.  You will receive an unannounced inspection within three months of us receiving your application. It is important to understand that your rating may go up, down or stay the same depending on the conditions found on the day of your re-inspection.

Non-business catering for large numbers

pdf icon Catering from Home Safely [945kb]

Contact the food and safety team or on 0118 937 3787 for more information or to inform us of any changes to your business.

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