Food Premises - Approval
The District Council is required to inspect and, where appropriate, grant permission for premises to handle, process and/or manufacture products of animal origin such as meat, dairy, eggs or fish. This is called the process of Approval.
Food premises approved under these specific regulations must meet additional requirements above the general requirements for food premises as they involve more high risk operations. This includes a detailed HACCP Plan to ensure the food business operator is controlling risks at critical points. Additional paperwork regarding hygiene and safety of the food being processed will also need to be sent with the application form. A Food Business operator will also have to ensure all food of animal origin has come from approved premises and once approved, an identification mark will be applied to their products to demonstrate that it has come from an approved establishment.
Summary of legislation
Certain types of food premises, generally manufacturers of products of animal origin (such as dairies, meat product manufacturers or fish processors), are subject to product-specific regulations (Regulation (EC) 853/2004). If you make, prepare or handle food of animal origin for supply to other businesses, your business and its activities must be approved by a Local Authority. All products produced in an Approved premises must display an Identification Mark.
Who needs to notify/apply
If a food business is handling, making and processing any of the products listed below, you may need approval.
Food of animal origin
- meat and poultry – (other than primal cuts) whether fresh, frozen or cooked.
- meat products such as pies, sausage rolls, faggots, black pudding and bacon
- raw or partially cooked minced meat or meat preparations such as sausages, burgers, marinated raw meat and kebab meat
- fish and fish products such as fish fingers, prawns, lobsters, crabs and crayfish - whether dead or alive
- live bivalve molluscs
- ready meals containing fish or meat
- milk and dairy products such as butter, cream, cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream, etc.
- frogs legs and snails
- rendered animal fats and other animal by products such as gelatine, collagen, stomachs, bladders and intestines
- Slaughter of animals and primal cuts of meat require approval from the Food Standards Agency. Information and application forms can be found at https://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/meat/meat-establishment-approval
Some premises may be exempt from being approved - details can be found in the Food Law Practice Guidance (England) and are based on the premises being retail or supplying other retailers on a marginal, localised and restricted basis. Another exemption from being approved is the supply of food of animal origin to the final consumer - i.e. if the person who buys the product then eats that product, the business is exempt. This business would then only need to be registered as a food business with the council. For further advise on activities that may be exempt from approval please contact a member of the commercial team (contact details are at the bottom of this page).
How do I apply?
Before submitting an application for approval, it is strongly recommended that the operator of the proposed food business should contact Environmental Health at the address given below. The law relating to approval is complex and may result in unnecessary expense if advice is not sought and discussed prior to completing an application.
You can apply to change your approval by completing the online form Online changes to approval
How long will it take to consider the notification/application?
There are no time limits on how long the approval process may take. This can depend on the applicant’s level of knowledge of the requirements and degree of compliance with food legislation. From application we aim to give you a decision within 8 weeks.
As part of the overall process a conditional approval may be issued. If conditional approval is granted, a further visit must be carried out by the Council’s staff within three months of the conditional approval being granted in accordance with Article 31(2)(d) of Regulation 882/2004. This visit will be an inspection.
In appropriate circumstances, the conditional approval may be extended, but this is restricted to a maximum of six months from the date of the initial granting of conditional approval.
Where an application for a proposed purification centre for live bi-valve molluscs, or modification of an existing centre is received, a copy of the application must be sent to the Food Standards Agency for consultation with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas).
An approval cannot be determined until a response from Cefas has been received. The subsequent approval will include any operating conditions set by Cefas.
How much will it cost to notify/apply?
There are no fees or charges associated with the approval process.
Will tacit consent apply?
Tacit consent does not apply due to the need to ensure public safety. Food businesses must not start any business activity which requires approval unless they have received conditional or full approval for the proposed activity from the Commercial Team. To start business without approval is an offence for which the business is likely to be prosecuted.
If you have not heard from us within 28 days, please contact us.
If my application is refused, how do I appeal?
Please contact the Council in the first instance at the address given below.
What if I have a complaint or concern?
A public register is held by the Food Standards Agency and can be found here.
For further information