How to sell food online: the keys to doing it well

How to sell food online

Are you good at cooking and are you thinking about starting an e-commerce? Do you want to know how to sell food online? The truth is that it is not as easy as it seems and there is a lot of legislation and regulations that you will have to comply with.

But wich ones? How to do it? If you want to sell food online and make a business of it, below we give you the keys to do so. Shall we start?

What you should keep in mind before selling food online

a couple of full hamburgers

Buying food online is no longer so crazy. There are many businesses that are dedicated to this, from the restaurants themselves that have food delivery, to catering and even small companies whose objective is to offer homemade meals to whoever wants them.

There is no doubt that The fact of receiving the food already prepared is convenient, you don't have to leave the house or spend time preparing the ingredients... You just have to order, wait and eat.

Setting up a food eCommerce is also easy, because you can create it through a website, social networks or even platforms such as Amazon, Ebay...

Now, we are talking about meals and food, and these can have a series of risks that will affect not only your reputation, but also your pocket as well as fines. Therefore, it is important that you take into account several aspects:

Applicable legislation

Not only national, but also community related to food security. In this case, the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency itself (AESAN) has all the current legislation and we recommend that you visit it often to find out if anything has changed.

But you don't just have to comply with food legislation. But You also have to comply with others related to your eCommerce:

  • Organic Law 15/1999, of December 13, Protection of Personal Data.
  • The Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007, of November 16, which approves the consolidated text of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users and other complementary laws.
  • Law 34/2002, on information society services and electronic commerce, which transposes Directive 2000/31/EC into national law.

Company registration

Since you are going to work with food, this forces you to have to comply with Regulation 852/2004, in which all food business operators must notify establishments. And Royal Decree 191/2011 on the registration of these establishments in the Registry.

In other words, you have to request your registration in the RGSEAA (General health registry of food and food companies).

Personal formation

We don't mean that you have to be a cook to be able to sell food online, but at least Yes, you are going to need a food handler's license to give customers a little more security. that you know what you're doing.

Specific requirements

Related to the above, selling food online needs extra security to avoid problems such as diseases, infections, etc. Therefore, you must take into account:

  • food safety, in terms of taking all possible precautions when preparing and delivering the product. This means that you cannot use unsafe foods, ensure traceability in all stages (or steps) of the recipe, comply with legislation and notify in case there is something harmful to health.
  • Storage, transportation and delivery, in that the food must have a specific storage, transportation and delivery protocol that will depend on that food. To give you an idea, if you sell refrigerated foods, they must be at 4ºC or less; if they are frozen, at -18ºC or less and if they are hot, at more than 65ºC.
  • Traceability, in the sense that you can know where each of the ingredients you have used to prepare the food come from. But not only backwards, but also forwards, knowing who you supply it to.

What will your website be like?

breakfast pancakes

When selling food online, your website, or the ads you make on social networks or platforms, must have a series of basic information. First and foremost, your information, that is, your data to know who is offering those meals.

On the other hand, you have to put information about the food (where does each one come from). Keep in mind that you must enter the same information as if you bought it in a store.

It is also mandatory Comment on the process of preparing that food, as well as the expiration date or minimum duration, conditions to preserve it, etc. All this will give people greater security when they buy from you.

Lastly, you will have to use Nutrition and health claims that comply with Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, relating to nutritional and health claims on foods.

Aside from this, aesthetically, in terms of design, colors, style... you can make it however you want, but it must contain that information that we have told you about.

What if I don't have a website and I sell through social networks?

prepared salmon

It may be the case that you are just starting out, that you do it as a hobby of selling desserts or foods that you are good at and that you only serve a few diners. That is why many use social networks to start.

But still, It is advisable that you comply with all of the above, especially to avoid that, if some food is bad and the person becomes poisoned, you do not end up with a fine or even greater sentences (jail). On social media, try to explain everything you do as best as possible, where the ingredients come from, etc. and how you cook to maintain food security. This way, you will avoid many headaches.

Our recommendation is that you put all the information in your profile and, when publishing a food, you also try to reflect everything you do so that the food that appears is safe for consumption and does not have negative consequences on health.

Do you now dare to sell food online or, after what we have seen, have we put you off? Keep in mind that we are talking about food, and these can be harmful if minimum safety standards are not maintained.

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