Food premises approval

If you use unprocessed products of animal origin (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, etc.) and intend to supply other businesses rather than sell food direct to the public, then your food business may have to be approved.

What you will need to do to get approval

As part of the approval process you will have to put in place procedures to manage food safety. These procedures must be based upon Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

If your food business requires approval then it is an offence to operate the food business without approval. Once approved, you will be issued with a unique approval number which makes up part of the identification mark required on your products and documentation.

There are some exemptions from the requirements to be approved. We will need to carefully assess your business to determine whether any of the exemptions apply or whether your business requires approval.

If you think you may need approval please contact us before applying.

Who can apply

Food businesses that make, prepare or handle meat, dairy, egg, fish, shellfish or animal produce for supply to other businesses.


It is free to apply for approval.

What you need to provide with your application

As well as a fully completed application form you will need to submit a detailed scale plan of your (proposed) establishment showing:

  • the location of rooms and other areas to be used for the storage and processing of raw materials, product and waste 
  • the layout of facilities and equipment

You will also need a description of your:

  • food safety management system based on HACCP principles
  • establishment and equipment maintenance arrangements
  • establishment, equipment and transport cleaning arrangements
  • waste collection and disposal arrangements
  • water supply and water supply quality testing arrangements
  • arrangements for product testing
  • pest control arrangements
  • monitoring arrangements for staff health
  • staff hygiene training arrangements
  • arrangements for record keeping
  • arrangements for applying the identification mark to product packaging or wrapping

What happens once you have made an application

We will need to inspect the food premises and assess your application before issuing your approval.

Tacit consent will not apply

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.

We will need to carry out a site visit and an officer will contact you within 14 days of receiving your application form to arrange this.

You must not commence any business activity which requires approval until we have approved your business. To carry out business without approval is an offence for which the business may be prosecuted.

You will be advised in writing within 28 days following the determination of your application for approval.

Apply for approval or make changes to your current approval

You can apply online through GOV.UK for a new approval or to change your existing approval.

How to make an appeal or a complaint

If you want to make a complaint you should contact us.

Contact Health Protection

5th Floor North
Howden House
1 Union Street
S1 2SH

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