I have only been thinking about starting up a cupcake business for the last couple of months but get into quite a muddle everytime I think about the inspection.
I'm from the South of England and recently purchased a book on how to start up a cake decorating business but didn't find it was much help with the inspection part.
I contacted my local County Council (which was pretty hard to find the relelvent documents on the internet) and they told me that Yes, I do have to have an inspection and I can order a form and then the inspection will take place and revelevant discussion about controls required. I did find this useful but I still feel extremely nervous and sick everytime I think about it.
I really don't know what is involved in an inspection at all. Whether it's the same as the US or slightly different. How I'm expected to have my kitchen. What risk is my dog to the inspection? I'm really stressing over it. The book I'm reading said that the Food Standards site will have all the relevant info that I needed to prepare myself but I just couldn't find anything useful on there.
Because I'm so worried about the inspection I'm even thinking of not starting up the business untill I move in with my boyfriend which could be atleast another year yet. Please, if anyone can let me know what the inspectors want from me I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much
Not surprisingly the different countries vary (I mean we differ county by county state by state here in the US alone) so but anyway--I once took notice that in England (somewhere) one could not have the washer dryer in the kitchen where the baking occurs.
Sometimes pets are an issue --sometimes not. It's pretty much common sense type things--then add in the particular idiosynchrasies of your particilar region.
Do you know anyone in your area that is approved? That's the best place to get the specific info. Because you may learn a certain criteria and stress to meet it then discover it's not at all a factor in your town.
I'd call & ask some more--make nice with someone on the phone & see how it goes.
Y'know what? If you're moving it's a better idea to try it now--if it doesn't fly then you'll have your guns loaded for next time huh. Let this one be the trial start-up cupcakery.
Good Luck, Cake-Buddy!!!
Hi, Amy. If you already got over the hurdle of contacting your local County Council office once, then do so again. Ask them point blank but nicely what is covered in an inspection. If they don't have the answer, ask them to direct you to who DOES have the answer. I can't imagine you'd be required to magically have everything the way an inspector wants it. There have to be some guidelines SOMEWHERE!!
Starting something new is SCARY. I'm going through the same thing myself in a number of areas. Keep your chin up, and good luck to you!
Thanks so much you guys. I'm going to contact my local council again and see if they can give me info. I was just afraid of failure.
I'm in the UK and our local Environmental Health dept (local council) was very helpful. The inspection was a breeze, we are considered low risk as we do not make anything other than cookies/cakes without fresh cream. Most want to see a separate sink for hand washing (we have 1 & 1/ 2 bowls and that was fine) but some councils want 2 separate ones. Some will let you have your washing machine in the kitchen as long as you don't do your laundry at the same time as baking. Others like you to have the machine in a different room. You also need a temp gauge in your fridge, and obviously keep any meat at the bottom of the fridge. I highly recommend you attend one of the council run food safety courses. They only last a few hours and cost around £50 but are well worth it. You will also have to inform your mortgage company or landlord to make sure you can run a business from home and tell your home insurance too. Public liability insurance of at least £2 million is a must. There are some good home based business insurances, that will cover your equipment too.
The hardest part is complying with current legislation. It cost us around £200 per label and you need a label for every product you sell, if it is packaged (unlike a bakery, where they do not package until after you purchase!) We also have some archaic weights and measure laws that prevent you from selling certain products in certain sizes!!! Colourings are a major problem. Because of the Southampton Study, we will have to label our goods with "May have an adverse effect on children's behaviour" if you use those colourings. It looks like Europe want to ban those at some point too. Best Before or Use By dates must also be on packaged goods and so you will need to get the uncooked and cooked dough/batter/frosting tested. I hope I haven't put you off, it sounds daunting and some of it still baffles me. There is a lot of stuff to think about and not all the info you need is in the same place, but it can be done by someone who has no previous experience (I was totally unaware of anything and am still learning!!) Just use your common sense and ask lots of questions!
Most of all Good Luck! x