Frequently Asked Questions about Food Premises Approval
What is food of animal origin?
Food of Animal Origin includes:
- meat and poultry – 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 – dead or alive
- live bivalve molluscs
- ready meals containing fish or meat
- milk and dairy products such as butter, cream, cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream
- frogs legs and snails
- rendered animal fats and other animal by products such as gelatine, collagen, stomachs, bladders and intestines
- honey and blood
If the above applies to you, it is an offence to commence any food business activity unless you have received conditional or full approval from us.
Are there any exemptions?
Yes - there are exemptions in certain circumstances. If your food business supplies food of animal origin direct to the final consumer (person who will be eating the product, or a caterer preparing food for service to the final consumer), then you do not need approval.
An example of this would be catering establishments, canteens, cafes, restaurants, local shops etc.
If your premises produces foods containing both products of plant origin and processed products of animal origin, you may also be exempt. Additionally there may be an exemption available depending on the extent to which the business wishes to supply food of animal origin to other businesses.
Please contact the Food and Safety Team for further information, as the rules around exemptions can be complex!
However, even if you are exempt you will still need to be registered with the council, and to follow most of the same hygiene rules.
How do I get approval?
You will need to fill in a detailed form and will be subject to stricter regulation. This is because your business poses a higher risk due to the type of food business operation.
To obtain approval you will need to meet certain hygiene standards set out in:
which are available on the Food Standards Agency website.
The application must be supported by certain food safety processing information. For example, you will have to put in place food safety management procedures based on the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles.
We will not grant approval unless your food business meets the required standards.
Is there a charge?
No, there is no fee for this application.
How do I apply?
We would always suggest that you speak to the Food, Health and Safety team before applying, in order that we can advise you whether you need to apply for approval and on the standards that your premises will need to meet.
If your food premises requires approval you must apply in writing giving full details of the proposed business.
In order to complete your approval, you will need to supply us with a number of documents, including:
- A detailed food safety management system based on the HACCP showing that the food business operator is controlling risks at identified critical control points – including elements such as cleaning, temperature control, prevention of cross contamination, pest control etc.
- A scale plan of the establishment showing storage and processing areas and the layout of facilities and equipment.
- Information on training for all personnel
- Information on the emergency withdrawal plan and traceability systems:
- what types of food you intend to produce and in what quantities,
- the design, construction and layout of the premises,
- arrangements for maintenance
- Pest control procedures
- arrangements for applying the health mark
- arrangements for staff health monitoring
- arrangements for cleaning of premises, equipment, utensils and transport including what cleaning chemicals you intend to use,your food and water sampling plan
- which laboratory you intend to use for carrying out analysis of food and water samples
- arrangements for the disposal of waste
- arrangements for staff training
This is not an exhaustive list, but all of the above must be approved by the Council prior to them granting approval for the premises.
What happens after application?
Once we receive your application, we will arrange to visit 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.
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.
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.
What about changes to my business?
Food business operators are required to ensure the council always has up-to-date information, including any significant changes in activities or the closure of establishments, and this is particularly important for approved premises due to the requirements regarding the traceability of foods. You must notify any changes in writing to the council.
What happens to the information given on the form?
The Local Authority is required to keep a list of food business establishments approved by them. This list is provided to the Food Standards Agency, and is also available for inspection by the general public at all reasonable times. The list contains the following information about each food business:
- Name of the food business
- Address of the food business establishment
- Particulars and nature of the food business
The Local Authority may give or send a copy of their list or any entry on it to any person who makes a request for such information. We are also required to provide detailed information to other enforcement bodies, such us HM Revenue & Customs, on request – and this may include data and information not held on our public register.
The Local Authority must have regard to the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to any information which it holds.
Last Modified: 08/03/2022
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