Food premises approval

If you intend to set up a business as a caterer, food retail outlet, home caterer, etc. then you would normally be registered as a food business establishment. Your food business does not require approval.

However, for a small number of businesses that do not sell food directly to the public who handle, prepare or produce products of animal origin, for example; meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese or manufactured foods that contain products of animal origin such as ready meals, pies, pasties, etcetera. Your food business may have to be approved. If that is the case, it is an offence to operate your food business without approval.

To obtain approval, you will need to meet certain standards relating to both food safety and the structure of your food production rooms in your food premise. You will also need to have a detailed Food Safety Management System in place to ensure that the product you produce is safe.

If your food business requires approval we will visit your premises to discuss the work that may be required to gain approval.  Once approved, you will be issued with a unique approval number which makes up part of the identification mark required on your products and documentation.

Existing approved food premises

If you are an operator of an existing approved premises you must ensure that you notify the local authority of any changes to your food businesses activities well in advance.  Please use the  food approval application form or contact the local authority food team to discuss the changes you are making.

The approval of a food business establishment is non- transferrable. In each case you must apply for approval.

Further information

More information  is available from Approval of food establishments / Food Standards Agency


Apply for approval online

By post -  download and complete the food approval form and send it to the Food Safety Team at the address provided on the bottom of the form.