If you are starting a food business, you will need to
- Register your Food Business -
View information and register a Food Business
- Apply for Premises Approval (applies for certain types of business - see below)
Planning permission may be required. You are advised to contact Surrey Heath Borough Council, Planning Services, Tel: 01276 707100 to discuss the matter further.
There is no fee for registration
Approved Food Premises
Some food businesses require approval instead of registration. Approval may be required if you produce products of animal origin (meat, fish, dairy or eggs), and supply these to other food business establishments. This is a requirement of European Community Directive 853/2004.
In general the following types of food business will require approval:
- food manufacturers producing products of animal origin
- standalone cold stores
- central production kitchens which supply caterers or retailers
- establishments that pack or wrap (or repack or re-wrap) products of animal origin such as meat fish dairy or egg products.
This is not an exhaustive list.
These types of premises are required by law to be approved by the local authority and generally their products must display a health mark or be accompanied by a health certificate. 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.
Once approved, details of the premises together with information relating to types of foods produced are forwarded to the Food Standards Agency to be kept on a central EU register.
What legislative requirements must be met?
Food premises that require approval must meet additional requirements above the general requirements for food premises as they usually involve more high risk operations. If your food premise requires approval you will need to meet the hygiene standards set out in the following regulations:
- Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 Hygiene of foodstuffs
- Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 Hygiene rules for food of animal origin
If any part of your business requires approval you will not be able to operate this part of your process until you have completed the application form and you have received confirmation of your approval or conditional approval for a certain time period.
Please note: additional rules apply when supplying eggs
There are a number of exemptions from the approval process which are briefly explained below:
If there is an element of retail involved in your business and you intend to supply any other retailers or caterers you may be exempt from approval if the supply of the food of animal origin is marginalised, localised and restricted.
Marginal - a small part of the establishments business meaning up to one quarter of the business in terms of food.
Localised - sale within the supplying establishments own county plus the greater of either the neighbouring county or counties or 30 miles/50 km from the boundary of the supplying establishment’s county.
Restricted - concerning only certain types of products being made or establishments being supplied.
Should your food business be exempt from the approval process then you will still need to register your food business with Surrey Heath Borough Council.
Applying for approval
You can apply for premises approval (or change an approved premises) online using the links below. This will need to be submitted together with the necessary documentation. If you are applying for approval in relation to eggs you must contact the Food Team first.
Once your application has been received an officer will be in contact with you and arrange to visit you at your premises. The officer will look in depth at your process and documentation and discuss any work you need to do in order to comply with the regulations.
If your business has achieved the required standards approval will be granted and you will be issued with a unique approval number which makes up part of the of the identification mark that you will need to apply to your products.
If I'm turned down, how do I appeal?
If we refuse your application, you can appeal against our decision to the local magistrates' court.
How long does the approval last and what's the renewal procedure?
Once we have approved your business, that approval will continue for the life of the business or until the legislation changes.
- Food Standards Agency (FSA) advice on starting a food business
- National Association of Catering Butchers (NACB)
- National Federation of Meat and Food Traders