Food Premises Approval
If your food business makes, prepares or handles food of animal origin and supplies to other premises (even within your ownership) as a significant part of your overall business, you may need Formal Approval instead of food premises registration from the council. If your business is a slaughterhouse or meat cutting plant, it will need to be approved by the Food Standards Agency.
Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 requires manufacturers of foods containing products of animal origin (POAO), such as dairies, meat product manufacturers or wholesale fish markets to gain local authority approval before they start trading.
Approval is a form of ‘license’ for any businesses wishing to handle, prepare or produce certain foods, and approval must be granted (either fully or conditionally) before the food can be sold. Approved premises must meet high food hygiene standards, and make sure that they can trace where all their ingredients have come from so that they can make sure their food is safe.
Premises that are approved by the local authority must display an oval health mark on their products (or foods can be accompanied by a health certificate if going to another food factory). Anyone buying food, whether from the supermarket or in bulk for their business, can then see that the high risk food they are buying meets high food hygiene standards.
Each local Authority in the country (and places across the EU) has a unique code which ensures that the origin of the food can always be established. This is very important in ensuring the safety of high risk foods, as it means that these high risk foods can be traced directly back to the factories that produced them.
If you would like to apply for premises approval, the application forms and information you need may be found here.
If you have a complaint about food you have bought from a food business, we would always advise that the first contact is made with the trader by you – most food businesses are happy to give a replacement or a refund.
We investigate food complaints, and may take action where those complaints have arisen through poor food hygiene etc. If you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice can also give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
If you are worried about a food business that you think may not be approved as required or is not being properly and hygienically maintained, you should contact us so that we can carry out an investigation.
Last Modified: 27/02/2023
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