How to Sell Perishables Online with eCommerce
As an artisan looking for more business, you might want to sell perishables online. You can expand into eCommerce with food, but you need to understand specific rules and laws.
Know Your Nation’s Food Handling Laws
Almost every country all over the world has specific food laws. Not obeying them could lead to fines and prison. This is because of the potential for bacterial outbreaks such as salmonella that could kill people.
The first step is proper storage if you want to ship many perishables or create food en-masse. Home refrigerators won’t be powerful or large enough to handle an industrial/commercial operation. For this, you need some walk in cooler equipment. Manufacturers like BARR refrigeration are among the most reputable in the world.
Acquire the Necessary Permits
Of course, you cannot manufacture or ship your perishable goods without the necessary licenses. With the USA as an example, you need permits from the state health board as a certified food maker.
To become certified, you need an adequate facility, transportation, and storage. These include refrigerators and freezers, refrigerated trucks and vans, and packaging such as styrofoam boxes. Otherwise, your local council, state, or the FDA may not certify you. And you face heavy penalties for operating without the required permits, such as fines.
Understand Labeling to Sell Perishables Online
Food labeling has become more critical than ever. Not only for people to know sugar, fat, and salt content. But also to prevent deaths from allergies and possible contamination:
- Nutritional information is a must-have, so people know what they are consuming.
- You absolutely must include any allergens or possible contact with them on your labels.
- A clearly defined expiration, sell-by, or use-by date within a reasonable timeframe.
Labeling is essential to prevent people from becoming ill. In the United States alone, over 1,500 people per year die from an allergic reaction to something in their food.
Request a Kitchen Inspection
In many cases, your kitchen and manufacturing area of your food will require an initial and ongoing inspection to operate. Much like a restaurant, there are specific criteria your food business must meet.
These include overall hygiene, storage of foods (such as cross-contamination and refrigeration), and employee practices. But overall, you are responsible for your kitchen.
So before an inspection, ensure your employees are up to code on food safety. And give your production area (including ovens) a thorough cleaning to avoid a shutdown.
Keep Your Customers In Mind
Of course, your customers are crucial in determining the success of your business. You won’t last long if you don’t communicate and meet their needs. For example, A restaurant owner needs to know the exact nutritional information of your products, or they may not legally be allowed to serve them.
Additionally, you must go out of your way to ensure that any food you ship arrives unspoiled and on time. You cannot blame the customer and refuse refunds for something that is ultimately your responsibility. And always inform of shipping dates and times.
How to sell perishables online with eCommerce: Summary
Food eCommerce is a growing sector. But there are some things to be aware of before starting. Ensure you handle food correctly, label it, and pay attention to customers.