Frequently Asked Questions about Food Premises Registration
What is food premises registration?
Registration of a business establishment used for a food premises (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures) is required by law. Registration will allow us to keep an up-to-date list of all those premises in our area so that we can visit them when we need to. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of premises.
Who needs to register?
If you run a food business establishment you must tell (or arrange for someone else to tell) us about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food.
Food premises includes restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans, community facilities such as luncheon clubs etc.
If you use vehicles for your business in connection with permanent premises such as a shop, or warehouse you only need to tell the local authority how many vehicles you have. You do not need to register each vehicle separately. If you have one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell the authority where they are normally kept. Anyone starting a new food business must register with us at least 28 days before doing so.
Are there any exemptions?
Certain food activities are exempt from registration, because the EC Regulation does not apply to them. These include:
- Growing or producing food for private domestic use, for example keeping hens to supply eggs to your own family
- The domestic preparation, handling or storage of food for private domestic consumption
If in doubt about whether or not to register, please contact us for advice.
How do I register?
By filling in a simple online form. Registration cannot be refused and there is no charge.
You must apply to the correct local authority. If it is sent to the wrong authority, your application will not take effect until it is received at the proper place.
If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.
What happens if I close the food business or change how I operate?
Food business operators must ensure that the appropriate local authority always has up to date information on their food business establishments, and must notify the authority of any significant changes of activity, or closure. Such notifications should be made, preferably in writing and before the changes occur, and in any event no later than 28 days after the change has occurred.
Notification of a change to the operator of a food business establishment should also be made by the new business operator, who will need to register the business in their name.
What happens to the information given on the form?
The Local Authority is required to keep a list of food business establishments registered with them. This list is 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 as 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 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to any information which it holds.
What if my Food premises need approval rather than registration?
Certain type of food premises, generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as dairies, meat product manufacturers or wholesale fish markets are subject to formal premises approval. This is a requirement of European Community Directive 853/2004.
Last Modified: 27/02/2023
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