Thousands of people are earning extra cash selling homemade food on Facebook - often without any hygiene checks or regulations.

Amateur cooks are knocking up scores of curries, kebabs and roast dinners.

Campaigners say they should be forced to register with local councils and the Food Standards Agency to avoid risk of ill health.

A BBC study found 3,000 listings - with distinct regional differences.

Analysis by the BBC found 20 adverts on one day for either “curry” or “biryani” coming from Luton with another 14 from Blackburn and 13 from Birmingham.

There were also 25 adverts referring to meat, chicken, beef, lamb or fish under “homemade food” in London, 24 in Birmingham and 23 in Manchester.

Kebabs were most common in Lancashire, with 15 postings emanating from or near to Nelson and another three near Blackburn.

There were 10 adverts involving bread or cakes from Sheffield, along with five from Glasgow, while 10 from Slough referred to “meat, beef or lamb”.

Campaign group Unchecked has called for home cooks who sell meals to be subject to the same inspections as takeaways and be given hygiene ratings [file image]

Campaign group Unchecked has called for home cooks who sell meals to be subject to the same inspections as takeaways and be given hygiene ratings.

It said unregistered food producers selling on social media posed a risk to health because of a lack of checks on hygiene standards.

“There is no requirement for sellers to register with their local authority, meaning that online food producers are operating completely under the radar,” Emma Rose, from the group, said.

“Food containing undeclared allergens, unspecified meat, or dangerous food-related bugs could be being consumed by unwitting customers - and there is no way of tracking the extent to which this is happening.”

The FSA said running a food business does not require a qualification, but the person must demonstrate “safe food handling and supply”.

Food prepared at home and sold on social media can contain undeclared allergens, unspecified meat, or dangerous food-related bugs

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“People operating food businesses must register those businesses with the local authority, ideally 28 days before the commencement of trade,” a spokeswoman said.

However, small scale operations can take place without registration as long as supply is “occasional”, the agency has said, and there is no “clear cut” definition of when a supplier should register.

The FSA said local authorities can take a range of actions against those who did not comply with food laws, from informal steps such as written warnings, to formal actions such as forcing sellers to close down and prosecution.