What food hygiene certificate do I need to sell ice cream in the UK?

Ice cream is a big business, especially in Summer – ice cream vans and gelato parlours scoop up a small fortune in the warmer months. Perhaps, you are in the UK, and thinking about to opening your ice cream business? There are certain steps you must go through before opening your doors to the public. These steps include registering your business, learning the food hygiene laws, achieving food hygiene certificates, and more. In this article, we will discuss all the above, and more.

Basic requirements for selling ice cream

Food law requires that you register as self-employed, and register your business if you sell or give away food for free on a regular basis. This should be done at least 28 days before you open for business – and can be done in a matter of minutes, online. Your local authority will then arrange to visit your home for a food hygiene inspection. This will assess whether your food preparation areas and food safety protocols are up to standard. To register online and to find out more information please visit the GOV website. Registration is free, and registration cannot be refused. Do remember, you must register at least 28 days before you open for business.

Once your business is ready to open and has been registered you should apply for a food hygiene inspection. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is led by the government in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It is put in place to make sure that cafes, food stalls, takeaways, restaurants, and more are preparing food in sanitary, and safe conditions – thus protecting the public. Food Hygiene Ratings are scored between 0-5. You can read all about the different ratings here.

Food hygiene laws & regulations in the UK

The Food Safety Act 1990 was put in place by the UK Parliament. It states that it is obligatory to treat food intended for human consumption in a controlled and managed way. It is required that all food must comply with food safety requirements and must be of the nature, substance, and quality demanded. It also needs to be described and labelled correctly.

The Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 set the legal obligations that are on all food-related businesses to ensure food that they prepare and serve is done so in a safe and hygienic manner. These regulations make it an offence for businesses to sell or supply food that is not safe for consumption.

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing food hygiene laws and can inspect your business at any point in the food production and distribution process. Penalties for non-compliance with food safety legislation include unlimited fines under the new sentencing guidelines. You can read more key regulations on the Food Standards Agency website.

Understanding the different types of food hygiene certificates

All food businesses must take food hygiene and safety seriously. One way to show that you adhere to regulations is by obtaining food hygiene certificates for your business and staff. Essential Food Hygiene offers three core Food Hygiene & Safety courses; level one, level two, and level three – each targeted at different areas within a food business. They are:

Level One – Level 1 Food Hygiene and Safety Course is targeted towards those in the industry who do not have any direct contact with food or the preparation of food but who work in an environment where food is prepared and acts as a foundation level of knowledge. The level one food hygiene and safety course takes 1 – 2 hours to complete.

Level Two –  Level 2 Food Hygiene and Safety course is for those looking to take the next step in their education of food hygiene and is for those who work in the food industry and frequently handle or prepare food. The level two food hygiene and safety course takes 1 – 2 hours to complete.

Level Three – Level 3 Food Hygiene and Safety Supervisors course is aimed at business owners, supervisors, and managers as it focuses on the management side of food hygiene and safety. If you are a supervisor, manager, or owner of a food business, this Level 3 Food Hygiene & Safety course is for you. The course will offer knowledge on how food should be prepared, handled, and cooked safely on your premises, as well as how to manage food safety and hygiene best practices among your staff. The level three food hygiene and safety course takes 3 – 4 hours to complete.

The specific food hygiene certificate requirements for selling ice cream

When selling ice cream – whether it be from an ice cream truck or parlor, you need to comply with all food hygiene regulations. As always, these regulations are in place to make sure that the products you sell are safe to consume. A Level 2 food hygiene certificate is recommended for selling ice cream. An understanding of microbiology, food contamination, and cross-contamination is also important – you can read more here. Freezer temperature plays a huge role in this. Having your refrigerator and freezer set at the correct and consistent temperature is a matter of food safety.

It’s also essential for all food businesses to maintain hygienic conditions throughout their premises – it should always be a main priority. The risk of contamination from bacteria and food-borne viruses is high in these types of premises and poor cleaning can quickly become problematic for the health of the consumer and, of course, the reputation of the business. Staff should adhere to high levels of personal hygiene and safe food handling. Also needed is a food management system – also known as Hazard Analysis and Critical Point (HACCP).

How to obtain the Level 2 Award in Food Safety

The Level Two Food Hygiene and Safety course builds upon the foundational knowledge of the Level One Food Hygiene and Safety course but goes into further detail regarding the safe handling and preparation of food in the catering industry. It isn’t essential to do the level 1 course, but it is recommended.

Learners will find the course easy to navigate, informative, and readily accessible due to its online nature. The Level Two Food Hygiene and Safety is tailored towards those who have direct and frequent contact with food, and a central role in food preparation and handling.

The course takes roughly 1 – 2 hours to complete and the examination consists of 25 multiple-choice questions which cover each of the three core sections (responsibilities, hazards, and hygiene). Once the exam has been passed, the student will receive their CPD Group accredited digital certificate instantly.

All UK regulations, guidelines, and best practices have been followed to create the course content which works directly to educate learners, allowing them to fulfill their job roles safely and legally. When put into practice, the material in this course can help businesses achieve and sustain a high food hygiene rating for your business. The course is fully accredited by The CPD Group.

As with any food business, it’s vital that food hygiene and safety regulations are taken seriously – this cannot be emphasised enough. Don’t delay and get certified today – ensuring the safety of your staff, and customers.