Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Home-based catering is Illegal

A reminder for those selling food from your house. I know of several Americans who cater from their houses. So be aware it's illegal and someone might report you.

Illegal home-based catering businesses thrive in Kuwait

KUWAIT: During the last few years, many have taken to running home-based catering businesses. Many people cook, bake and prepare different food items and sell it to people. Maha is a 35-year- old Kuwaiti wife and employer who started her business about four months ago. She currently sells only two kinds of food items – stuffed onions and vine leaves. “I sell the plate for KD 7, and the quantity is substantial. I sell at a cheaper rate than a restaurant, and is cleaner, as I supervise it myself at home. Customers have to call me a day in advance to prepare their order for the next day,” she told the Kuwait Times.

“I began this as a hobby, and then I turned it into business, as my husband encouraged me. Now I prepare the food and my husband delivers it. I do most of the work, and the maid helps me sometimes. I only sell this food to relatives and friends. Maybe in the future, I will expand my business to new  customers. I have never heard of having to obtain license for conducting any home-based activity. No one I know who is into this business possess a license,” she added.

Expatriates are active in this business. Umm Ahmad is an Egyptian citizen entered the field more than three years. “If my business was not successful, I would not continue in it for more than three years. Nobody ever asked me to produce a license, as people have tried my cooking and trust me. My reputation is testimony to the quality of my products,” said Umm Ahmad who specializes in selling appetizers.

These businesses are considered illegal as no licenses are obtained from the Municipality or the Ministry of Commerce. The Municipality is responsible for checking the safety and cleanliness of food in restaurants. There is no authority that checks on this. A source from the PR and Municipality noted that the Municipality warns people against selling homemade food products. “The inspectors from Municipality can go to any house that sells such unlicensed products and may even disrupt power supply to the homes. Inspectors enter homes after obtaining a warrant from the Public Prosecution Department, which may take a day or two. A new proposal is being discussed which will allow the them to enter homes without it,” he pointed out.

He said that inspectors from Asima governorate of Municipality have cut off electricity supply in Dahiyat Abdulah Al-Salem for holding unlicensed exhibitions. “They first issued a three day notice, when they failed comply, electricity was cut off. The inspectors usually act upon a complaint made by neighbors, and people can always complain to the nearest Municipality. “In fact we have violations committed by people from different nationalities. We also detained a bus that was delivering about 700 meals made by an unlicensed kitchen, so we confiscated it,” stressed the source. The rules apply to those promoting food stuff or other products at malls. According to the source, only products from a licensed food company can be sold.

5 comments :

  1. Thank you SO much for posting this! I mentioned this on Twitter the other day because I am quite frustrated with these 'home based' food businesses -- no one has a clue if they're clean or safe. Hope you don't mind if I re-post this on my blog?

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  2. No problem girlie you can repost it. I know that there are a lot of Americans doing this and I've tasted some pretty awful things and they are making it out of their personal kitchens. Safe? Who knows.

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  3. Thanks! I've posted and linked back to you as well. It's bad enough when food is being thrown out by the tons when found to be expired in local grocery stores. Imagine what some of these people might be cooking in their homes? It's just outright unsafe and I do hope the government puts a stop to it.

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  4. I am so grateful to find your particular post. I have bookmarked this website and I will keep visiting you for further such interesting posts.

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Comments are welcome! Personal attacks are not. Thanks!