Food Premises Approval - Applying for a Licence

Food Premises Approval - Applying for a Licence
Licence Summary

If you operate food premises you may need to be approved by your local authority. You should contact your local authority to see if you require approval.


Examples of types of premises that are required to be approved by local authorities are stand alone (ie not attached to a slaughter house, cutting plant or game handling establishment):


  • meat processing plants
  • meat preparation plants
  • minced meat processing operations and mechanically separated meat processing plants
  • cold stores
Information and guidance on the law

European Community Directive 853/2004


Guidance on the legislation

How to apply

If you want to apply for a food premises approval, download a copy of the application for approval of a food business establishment here.


Notes for applicants


The application for approval form must be sent to the local authority in whose area the food premises is situated. If the form is sent to the wrong address, your application will not take effect until it is received at the proper place.

Application fees

The application for food premises registration is free.

The application process

We would always advise that you contact us prior to making an application, so that we can advise you on whether your premises needs approval and, if so, the standards that will need to be met.


Once we receive your application, we will arrange to inspect your premises and discuss the processing intended to determine whether all systems, procedures and documentation meet food hygiene requirements. Approval may at this stage be granted either fully or conditionally for three months.


At all stages you can expect to be kept fully informed in writing as to the status of your approval. Where approval is either refused or only conditional you also have certain rights of appeal.


Conditional approval


Where we grant conditional approval you will be informed in writing about the terms of the conditional approval. If at the end of the three months you have complied with these terms you can expect a further visit, where you will either be granted full approval, a further three months conditional approval or you will be refused approval.


Full approval


Those premises who receive full approval will be allocated a unique Identification Mark (an oval mark) which should then be applied to labelling or packaging on products. The approval will be notified to the Food Standards Agency who maintains a national database of all approved premises.

Does Tacit Approval apply?

No. Premises requiring approval handle or process products of animal origin, and the approval process is intended to ensure that these food products are safe to eat. Tacit consent will not apply as this may compromise public health by allowing premises which do not comply with the hygiene regulations to place food on the market.

Appeals and Complaints

In the event of the application being refused or only conditional approval being given, you will be notified of the reasons in writing and the matters necessary to satisfy approval requirements. You will also be advised of your right of appeal to the Magistrates Court.


Should you feel that your application has been improperly processed, you should follow the authorities complaints procedure.

Trade Associations

Livestock & Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) 


National Federation of Meat and Food Traders 


Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Associations(SFMTA)

Please Note - Torfaen County Borough Council (The Council) is under a duty to protect the public funds which it administers and to this end may use the information you provide within Torfaen County Borough Council for the prevention and detection of fraud. The Council may also share this information with other bodies administering or in receipt of public funds solely for these purposes. For further information, visit the National Fraud Initiative area of the website.

Last Modified: 27/02/2023
For more information contact:

Torfaen Business Direct

Tel: 01633 648735


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