A Guide to Food Business Registration and Approval

  • Price: £3.60
  • Published: December 2014
  • Type: Business Information Factsheet
  • Format: PDF

Food business establishments are highly regulated under a variety of legislation governing food hygiene and safety. Most premises where food is stored, prepared, displayed for sale, or served, including mobile or temporary premises such as vans, trailers and market stalls, must be registered with the local authority environmental health department in the area where the establishment is located.

However, some types of food business establishment, such as those that produce, handle or prepare products of animal origin (POAO, including meat, game, fish, seafood, dairy products, eggs and poultry) that are to be supplied to trade customers rather than for direct sale to consumers may need to be 'approved' rather than registered by the environmental health department.

Food business establishments are inspected as part of the initial registration or approval process, and on a regular basis thereafter. Food business operators (who are responsible for ensuring that the business' operating processes comply with the legislation) must ensure that various rules relating to food hygiene, labelling, traceability and weights and measures are adhered to in order to maintain the premises registration or approval. Breaching the regulations can be a criminal offence, and anyone running an unregistered food business establishment is liable to a fine, or two years' imprisonment, or both.

This factsheet outlines the application process for registration or approval of a food business establishment. It explains the criteria to be met, including the information required as part of the application process.

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