Seafood Boils & Sprinkle Cakes: At-home Food Selling Is Concerning The Food Standards Agency

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

15 Feb 2021

Food safety watchdogs have labelled the amount of at-home food vendors popping up during the pandemic as “concerning”. With people stuck at home and unable to eat out, social media has stepped in to meet the culinary demands of the people. However ignoring the risks associated with unlicensed home cooks is something health regulators won’t do especially during a pandemic.

Roughly 44% of new food businesses started since the first lockdown were home-based, according to a new centralised online registration system used by nearly 200 local authorities, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed.

“The growth of at-home food businesses is a concern,” the FSA said. Other experts are similarly concerned about the boom of these types of businesses.

Julie Barratt from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) said: “Little food businesses are popping up like mushrooms in lockdown. There are rank outsiders operating off the radar, who think, ‘Oh, my mum can cook’, and confuse cooking with catering” specifying the use of apps like Nextdoor, WhatsApp and Instagram to sell their food.

People simply aren’t registering as food businesses, meaning their hygiene arrangements are a mystery to local authorities. More worryingly those that are registering are often not getting an inspection. So things like having a separate sink for washing hands, rat droppings or providing proper waste management are going unchecked.

Let’s hope that Matt Hancock’s vision of Covid becoming more manageable like the Flu by 2021’s end comes to fruition so we can get back into verified and safe restaurants.