As a food business operator you must ensure that you take into consideration various rules and regulations. The term food business obviously relates to restaurants, takeaways and cafes, but also includes things such as:

  • non-profit organisations, such as charities and lunch clubs serving tea, coffee and biscuits
  • all public houses even if they only serve drinks and bar snacks, and do not provide meals
  • catering from your home, for example cake production or jam making
  • food provided as part of an event for which no charge is made

Who must register?

Premises where food and/or drink operations are carried out on a regular basis must be registered with their local authority.  This includes:              

  • food businesses
  • mobile food units should be registered if they are kept in Sheffield overnight
  • market stalls
  • delivery vehicles and other moveable structures
  • charitable and non-profit organisations
  • seasonal businesses

Food and/or drink operations include:

  • preparing
  • storing or handling
  • cooking
  • distributing
  • selling or providing  food and/or drink

Childminder food business registration

If you are a childminder who provides food, you will automatically be registered as a food business when you register with Ofsted.  This only applies for registrations made on or after 1 January 2014, and is part of the government’s commitment to reduce the burden on business.

Formal approval

If you make, prepare or handle food that comes from animals (for example meat or dairy products) and do not sell directly to the public, please contact us, as you may need formal approval to carry out your processes.

Advice for starting a new food business

You can contact us to request a new business pack to help when starting up a new food business. You should also visit the Food Standards Agency website for further information. 

Whilst anyone can open a food business, we advise you to gain catering experience and/or qualifications.

Registering your food business

You must register a new food business 28 days before opening.  There is no charge for registration. It is a criminal offence to operate an unregistered food premise.

You may trade from the date you specify on your registration form. It is your responsibility to provide safe food at your business. You will be inspected as soon as possible after opening depending on the work demands of the service.

To register your food business you can download, print and return our Food Business Registration form, or register online via GOV.UK.

The downloadable form has to be completed, signed and the original returned to us by the Royal Mail to the address shown. We will not acknowledge receipt of your registration form unless you include a postage paid envelope. Please be aware, that we will not be able to provide you with a date when your inspection is due.

If you want to register online you can use the GOV.UK website, where an electronic signature is accepted. You will be issued with a GOV.UK reference number to acknowledge receipt of your registration.  This reference number is personal to you, and is not applicable locally, should you need to contact us regarding your registration.  We will not acknowledge receipt of your registration.

Updating your registration details

You must inform us if there is a change of ownership, business address or name, nature of the business, or if you cease trading.

Next Steps

Once your registration is submitted you don’t have to wait for the inspection to begin trading. When you have registered we will take a look at your registration form to determine the level of risk your business operations may pose to the public. Examples of high risk businesses include:

  • cafes
  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • caters
  • pubs serving meals
  • preparation and storage of high risk food items

Examples of low risk businesses include:

  • premises selling wrapped sweets and crisps
  • pubs serving only drinks and snacks

Health Protection Service

Ask us a question

0114 273 4415

5th Floor North
Howden House
1 Union Street
Sheffield

S1 2SH