Guidance and information for food businesses that want to sell chilled or frozen food for customers to reheat or cook at home.
Providing food for reheating carries more safety risks than providing food hot or cold, because of the extra cooling, chilling or freezing, and the different storage methods needed.
There is also specific information that you must provide about the food.
If you're a food business that normally sells hot or cold food, and you want to start selling chilled or frozen food for customers to reheat, you should contact us.
- 0117 922 2500
We'll need to talk to you about your plans and how you'll make, store and sell or deliver the food safely.
Examples of businesses this applies to:
- a pub or cafe that normally prepares meals to serve to customers on the premises, and now want to sell food packaged for customers to store chilled or frozen, to cook or reheat at home
- a home caterer who normally sells food from a market stall, and now wants to sell food prepared at home and packaged for customers to store chilled or frozen, to cook or reheat at home
You must apply to become an approved food business, if you are not one already, if the food:
- will be sold to other businesses rather than directly to the customer, and
- contains products of animal origin, such as meat, eggs, dairy, honey or gelatine
Food safety advice
We'll give you advice on food safety when you contact us.
The main things you'll need to consider are:
- your food safety management system: Safer Food Better Business is unlikely to be suitable and youll need to use a more detailed Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point based system
- the core cooking temperatures and rapid cooling times for your food, these are critical for food safety, see guidance from the Chilled Food Association
- the shelf life for chilled products: it should be very short and is normally determined by laboratory analysis, see guidance from the Chilled Food Association
- how you'll keep the food chilled or frozen during delivery
Information you must provide about the food
When you sell food for customers to reheat or cook at home, you must always give:
- the name of the food
- information about any allergens it contains
- instructions for cooking, reheating, freezing and defrosting the food, if the food would not be safe to eat if these werent followed
You can give this information on a label on the food or on a notice.
If the food for reheating is prepacked and not sold directly to the customer, you must also give the following information:
- the name of the food
- a short description of the food
- a legal or customary name if it has one
- whether the food is supplied frozen or chilled
- a full list of ingredients, with 14 specified allergens clearly shown
- instructions for cooking, reheating, freezing and defrosting the food
- storage instructions
- the products weight, volume or quantity
- a quantitative ingredient declaration (QUID) for the main ingredients in the dish
- full nutrition information
For distance sales, for example food bought online or over the phone, you must make this information available at the point of delivery, for example on a label or a leaflet and by other appropriate means such as on your website, on promotional material or over the phone.
The rules are slightly different for direct sales, for example when you sell food directly to the customer from the place you make the food, a stall or a vehicle. Email email@example.com for information.