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A stack of lemon pancakes.
Using social media platforms, the amount of home food businesses has soared in recent months, from cupcakes and sweet treats to smoothies and juice packages, as a handful of the delights on offer. Social media sites are perfect for the rising businesses, providing a free and effective way of advertising their goods. 
Whilst the tasty treats may seem all ‘likes’ and glowing reviews, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have recently raised concerns. As this particular trade continues to grow, the FSA fear that many sofa side sellers are not complying with regulatory standards. Home food businesses are required to register their business with the local council, in order that an inspection of their premises may be carried out, and a food hygiene rating issued. This ensures that potential consumers are better protected, however, the concern is that many are carrying on their business, without being registered. 
The BBC did, in fact, carry out a recent study on sellers advertising on Facebook. The research found that all, of those tested, were unregistered which, in turn, meant that they had not been inspected or have a hygiene rating for their services. 

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This puts potential consumers at great risk and is particularly dangerous as the same are not, usually, packaged as they would be when purchasing from a shop. You would expect to see a list of the ingredients within the product on its packaging, however, this is often not the case when purchasing from home food businesses. This leaves those with allergies significantly vulnerable, as they cannot be sure what they are consuming, and, as such, whether the same is safe. 
In addition, more often than not, there is no information on how the product has been prepared and, indeed stored, for such items. Preparation and storage are vital processes that, where inadequate, can result in food poisoning. 
Although guidance on avoiding food poisoning is ever developing, this is an issue our solicitors in Preston, unfortunately, do still come across on a daily basis. Our expert team can assist with food poisoning compensation claims that have arisen as a result of the breach of duty of care owed to you, as the consumer. 
The Food Standards Agency are, however, aiming to tackle such problems by working with social media sites, such as Facebook, commenting that the sites are to take responsibility for those businesses whom are using their sites. 
Chairwoman of the FSA, Heather Hancock, is calling for Facebook to carry out stricter checks on the sellers whom are using their ‘Marketplace’ feature on the site, and states that they have an “unavoidable moral obligation to help keep people safe”. Facebook have confirmed their cooperation with the FSA, and are working together to help consumers be best protected. 
Following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse in 2016, there have been changes made to the law concerning food. One major development means that food businesses, by 2021, are to ensure a full list of ingredients is provided on any pre-packaged product. This development is also known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, which is further detailed in our blog, here
How may this apply to the Facebook foodies, you may ask. With the recent comments of the Food Standards Agency, the law concerning food businesses may be set to change once more. Follow our blog for further updates on the matter, as and when they arise. 
If you have fallen ill to food poisoning, as a result of a food business’s failings, contact our team of solicitors in Preston today, whom are on hand to assist you in pursuing a claim for the compensation today. Get in touch at enquiries@mglegal.co.uk
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