Food Safety for Home Bakers

As a home baker who makes and sells cakes to the public there are certain legal requirements you must comply with to ensure that home-made goods are produced, stored and transported hygienically and will be safe to eat.

If you are considering running a business from home you must register with us at least 28 days before opening. Registering is free and more information including the relevant registration form is available.

All operators of food businesses are now required to maintain a written food-safety management system.

As a small low-risk food business 'Safer Food Better Business' for caterers (SFBB) may not be appropriate for you as it could be considered too in depth and onerous for your needs, however you will still need to have a documented food-safety management system in place.

To help you with this process, with thanks to colleagues in Braintree District Council, we have made available a pack called Safer Food Better Baking which is based on SFBB and is simplified to meet the needs of cake makers. The pack is available to download.

If you decide on this as your documented system you will need to print the safe methods and diary sheets from the pack.

  • You should read the section called 'How to use this pack' and 'How does this diary work' which explains how the pack is to be used.
  • You should then work through the pack and fill in all the safe methods relevant to you.
  • Once you have worked through the pack you need to ensure you are following safe methods every day you produce cakes.

Every time you produce cakes for your business you will need to complete the diary section of the pack.

This includes marking opening checks in the diary and keeping records of refrigerator temperatures prior to baking and closing checks.

At the end of each day you must make a note of anything that went wrong and then carry out your closing checks before certifying the records are accurate and true.

After 15 production days there is a review section included in the diary which gives you an opportunity to review safety methods and audit your systems. This section should be completed as a legal requirement.

Alternatively you can write your own simple procedures.

To do this you will need to write a short paragraph under each of the headings below (if they are relevant), outlining how each aspect is controlled within your operation.

Areas to focus on:

  • Food hygiene training / knowledge
  • Personal hygiene
  • Infection control
  • Pest control
  • Cleaning and sanitising (what types of chemicals and cleaning cloths are used? How they are cleaned / sanitised?)
  • Suppliers
  • Stock rotation
  • Temperature control
  • Traceability (using batch codes and keeping records)
  • Tamper evident seals and packaging
  • Equipment (suitability, condition checks, cleaning, storage)
  • General control of chemical (such as cleaning chemicals), physical (particularly risk of loose metal parts from mixers and control of glass in the kitchen) and microbiological hazards at all stages of processing
  • Ingredient details (including allergy information and edible glitter procedures)

Legally you are you are required to have adequate food-hygiene knowledge and training if you prepare and handle open foods. Training to the equivalent of the CIEH Level 2 Food Safety in Catering Certificate will help meet this requirement and will demonstrate to customers you take your responsibility for food safety seriously.

Having pets is absolutely fine. However, you must consider how you prevent any animal hair from getting in the food you prepare. Pets must not be allowed in the kitchen when preparing food.  All surfaces/equipment they may have come into contact with must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised prior to beginning a baking session.