Registration of food businesses

Food premises inspectionFor most businesses it is a legal requirement to register with environmental health at least four weeks before the intended opening date. To store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises you need to be registered with the environmental health. Premises include restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops, canteens, market stalls, mobile catering vans and food delivery vans.

Some manufacturers handling products of animal origin may need to be approved by the local authority or the Meat Hygiene Service, rather than registered. If you are uncertain whether your business needs to be approved or registered, contact environmental health.

How to register as a food business and get advice on the process

Use the online form to register your business.

Specific advice will be given depending on the circumstances. Where necessary an officer will arrange to visit the site of your business and give advice on the legal requirements relating to environmental health. Once a new business has opened environmental health staff will make an initial inspection soon after you have opened.

During the inspection the officer will make an assessment of the risks and decide how often revisits to premises will be made. The risk will depend on the type of food sold, the scale of production, how food is handled and stored and the condition of the premises.Your business will be registered within 28 days of application, however the law does not require a registration form to be issued.

The public register of food businesses can be viewed by contacting environmental health on the number or email shown.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance.

Customer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

E.g. about noise, pollution, etc. Also should one licence holder complain about another.

Trade Associations

Chilled Food Association

National federation of Meat and Food Traders

Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA)

Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF)

Downloadable Documents

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File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Microsoft Word formatFood Premises Registration Form in Word format45056 Kb107 mins 17 secs @ 56k, 3 mins 5 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerFood Premises Registration Form in PDF format24108 Kb57 mins 24 secs @ 56k, 1 min 39 secs @ 2mb

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