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

This includes:

  • 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

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 for this approval online by using this form Online Approval Application. Alternatively, if you do not wish to apply online, you can download the application form here docxApproval Application form, complete it and submit it to the address given below or email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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?

Contact us in the first instance at the address below. Otherwise, if you are located in the UK, Advice Guide will give you advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Public register?

A public register is held by the Food Standards Agency and can be found here.

For further information

For further information please contact the Environmental Health Commercial Team at the address given below or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Contact Us

Richmondshire District Council
Mercury House
Station Road
North Yorkshire
DL10 4JX

Phone: 01748 829100
Fax: 01748 826186
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.