All home cooks that make and sell food to the public must register with their local authority at least 28 days before they start trading. If a home cook doesn't register with their local authority, they risk a fine and up to two years in prison as a punishment! Worth the risk? Er, No!
So, the answer to the question is yes, all home cooks need food hygiene ratings. It's generally not that difficult for a home cook to register their business and the majority of council's have an online registration process. The online process usually consists of an editable PDF that is then submitted via the council website. The questions asked are pretty basic and most home cooks will not struggle to complete the form.
After registration, the local authority will contact the home cook by telephone and make an appointment to visit the registered premises. In the meantime, the home cook is allowed to trade as registration is complete, it's simply the inspection and food hygiene rating that are in waiting. The inspection will consist of a trained assessor establishing where food will be prepared and cooked, the cleanliness of the kitchen and immediate environment and the knowledge of the person controlling the business. Once the inspection is completed, the home cook will be given their food hygiene rating - this can happen on the spot or by later communication.
Should a home cook trade before their inspection?
In my opinion no, they shouldn't but some do and they have absolutely no issues as they could be a 5 rating in waiting. So it's really up to the individual.
Hungrily Home Cooks
The way we work at Hungrily is by ensuring all home cooks complete our online learning modules that cover all aspects of food hygiene and management. Once a home cook has completed the learning modules they apply through our system to their local council. We do not feature any home cooks until they receive their food hygiene rating as we ensure safety, transparency and openness across the platform. If a home cook loses their food hygiene ratings they are removed from the platform immediately.
The average rating of a Hungrily home cook at the time of writing is a 5. This is way above the average of restaurants in the UK and there are a few reasons why this is the case. Mainly, home cooks take ownership and complete accountability for their business, their cleanliness and therefore their food hygiene rating. For some home cooks their livelihood is on the line if they let their standards slip at any time.
If you would like to become a home cook on Hungrily, we are currently expanding across the UK. For a list of upcoming towns click here and to join us as a home cook, complete the answers on our cook with us page here.