Summary

Your business needs to be inspected and approved by us if it involves handling, preparing or processing products of animal origin such as meat, fish, egg or dairy products. The Food Standards Agency has a full list of the types of product(s) of animal origin which need approval.

The following businesses must also be inspected and approved:

  • cold stores

  • wholesale markets

  • re-wrapping businesses.

It’s a criminal offence to run food premises without approval and you can be prosecuted for doing so.

Exemptions:

You don’t need to be inspected or approved if you sell direct to the public or to retailers such as caterers, pubs and restaurants, as long as you can satisfy certain exemptions. These generally relate to the quantity of food that you supply and the geographical area over which it is supplied. You are advised to contact us to discuss your specific circumstances or visit the Food Standards Agency website.

You don’t need to renew your premises approval, but please let us know of any changes.

Are there any restrictions?

You cannot manage or apply for an approval for a food business if you have been issued with a court order banning you from running a food business.

How do I apply?

Complete the online application form. You will also need to provide a number of documents including a detailed scale plan and a description of the proposed arrangements of your business for:

  • food safety management procedures based on hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) principles

  • premises and equipment maintenance

  • the cleaning of premises, equipment and transport

  • waste collection and disposal

  • water supply

  • product testing

  • pest control

  • staff health and hygiene training

  • record keeping

  • applying identification marks to product packaging or wrapping.

We will then arrange to inspect your premises. If your business is approved we will issue you with a unique approval number, which must be applied to your products and documentation.

Apply for Food Premises Approval Online

Fees

There is no charge food premises approval.

Does tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it is granted to ensure that food products are safe to eat. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Appeals and complaints

Please contact us.

Consumer complaint

We advise that consumer complaints are first made to the trader, preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that does not work, further advice is available from Citizens Advice.

For complaints such as noise pollution or one licence holder complaining about another, please contact us for advice.