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  • #989045
    Katty1981
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    Hi, I’m Kat and I’m starting up an online tea store. Everything was going swimmingly, until I hit a significant bump this week.
    I don’t have a place to package up my tea!
    The council says I could do it at home, but I’m sceptical because I have an openish plan house with bare floorboards. I also have two children who leave disaster in their wake and dogs that come inside. I also have no means to install a handbasin in my kitchen!
    I am in no doubt that I can clean and sanitise my workspace to a high standard, but I’m not sure the council will be so confident.
    What other options do I have?
    I originally wanted to package in a commercial kitchen, but the kitchens I’ve enquired about are either unavailable, or require me to hire the entire facility (and they are very very large facilities)
    Has anyone else struck this problem?

    #1170179
    MH08
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    Speak to a food technician or food manufacturer to do it for you?

    Just make sure that your labelling is correct by the standards meaning you can see the weight and content types from a 60 degree angle from the front. Never have drain weight either (if theres liquid).

    Also just start manufacturing it and don’t worry about council, telling them is the worst thing you can do. Just make sure you keep your integrity as a new business owner in this particular field, should be right.

    Cheers,

    #1170180
    Katty1981
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    Thanks for your reply MH08 :)
    I’m just concerned now because I have spoken to the council about it and now they know I exist.
    What are the ramifications if the council ‘finds out’ that I didn’t register my business with them?
    Is it a massive fine? Is it a slap on the wrist?
    I could package up all my tea tonight and start selling tomorrow if I didn’t have to deal with the council, but I’m hesitant because my husband and I don’t have the finances to pay penalties etc.

    #1170181
    alliedib
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    Hi Katty,

    Personally, I would take a different approach to MH08….

    I see all too often that many people start a business without realising the requirements that are placed on them by the various regulatory authorities.

    Whilst we can debate all day the pro’s and cons of (over)regulation, the fact remains that they are there and need to be followed. Add in to this mix that if you do have an incident occur, any liability insurance you may have could be voided due to your breach (however unintentional) of the regulatory requirements – ignorance is not a defence unfortunately.

    To cover yourself, speak to the relevant government departments (food authority etc) about their requirements and where this is provided in writing – in a lot of cases they will tell you to speak to your local council.
    Then speak to council and get exactly their requirements – if they say ‘nothing’, get it in writing and happy days!

    The advice I give is that it is better to get it all sorted from the start, rather than winging it and hoping for the best. If you have nothing to lose then you may want to take the risk, however if you are concerned with any repercussions (either from council or beyond) then it would be prudent to get the done properly from the beginning.

    As for venues that you can use, do you know of any caterers etc whose facilities you can work with? Alternatively, sometimes restaurants etc have closed days but they are there doing paperwork – can you use their kitchen during this time? CWA Rooms also maybe?

    Regards,

    Mark

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