Running a food business from your home kitchen

The standards you will have to meet depend on a number of factors such as the type and quantity of food you intend to prepare.

As each business and each kitchen is different the information on this page is intended as a guide on the areas that will be looked at in your kitchen.

The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013

All food businesses whether run from commercial premises or the home have to comply with the same regulations. 

Although we would not expect to see the same things in a domestic kitchen as we would in a commercial kitchen we would still expect the same high standards of food safety and hygiene.

As a general principle, if you prepare high risk foods the standards required of you will be much stricter than if you only prepare low risk foods.


Depending on the type and quantity of food you intend to prepare we may suggest that you undertake some form of formal food hygiene training.

Your kitchen

Walls, floors, ceilings and kitchen units

You must be able to easily clean, disinfect and maintain your kitchen to avoid the risk of contaminating foodstuffs and harbouring pests. Decorative finishes in your kitchen may be of some concern as they will not be easily cleanable.

Surfaces and equipment

Your work tops and equipment must be in good condition, easy to clean and disinfect. You must also have adequate space on your worktops to prevent cross contamination.

Storage and refrigeration

You must ensure that you have enough separate storage and refrigeration for products prepared for the business from those that you normally have for home use.


You must also have dedicated utensils for business purposes. These should be separate from those that you would normally have for home use.


Food waste must not be allowed to accumulate in the food preparation area. Waste stored in the kitchen must be in a clean bin.


Effective cleaning gets rid of bacteria. It is therefore important to clean your kitchen prior to commencing food production for business purposes. Make sure all surfaces, equipment and utensils are clean and suitably disinfected. Remember to always clean as you go.

Laundry facilities

Ideally washing machines should be sited away from food preparation and storage areas. However if there is no alternative you must not do your laundry during food preparation for business purposes.

Toilet facilities

It is not acceptable to have a toilet or bathroom that opens directly on to the kitchen.

Hand washing facilities

A separate facility must be provided for hand washing purposes, reasonably accessible from the kitchen.

Pest control

You must ensure that your kitchen is kept free from pests, like flies, insects and mice.

Personal hygiene

A high standard of personal hygiene is important when handling and preparing food for public consumption. Good standards of hygiene help to eliminate the risk of contaminating the food and causing food poisoning.


Hands should be washed regularly using warm water, soap and a nailbrush especially before handling food and after visiting the toilet, smoking, eating, handling refuse and touching pets.


Clean, washable clothing must be worn by food handlers during food preparation to protect the food from the risk of contamination.


You should not handle or prepare food if you are suffering from an illness that you could pass on to others like vomiting, diarrhoea and viral infections

The Family

Separating family and business use of the kitchen can be awkward but it is essential for good food hygiene.

When preparing food as part of your business you must not prepare food for your family.


You must limit access to the kitchen by children, and other people during food preparation for business purposes.


Pets should also not be allowed in the kitchen during food preparation and pet food should be kept well away from all food production and storage areas.

Plants and other decorative items

You must make sure that any plants and decorative items that you would normally have in your kitchen are out of the way during food preparation and production for business purposes. This will prevent anything falling into the food and causing contamination.


Don’t take chances with people’s health. If hygiene fails then contamination and food poisoning can quickly follow.