Environmental health

Approval of food premises

You may need to apply for approval if your food business produces and supplies the following foods of animal origin to other food business establishments and not directly to the public. 

  • Meat, including minced meat and mechanically separated meat
  • Fish, including wet fish and live bi-valve molluscs
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Frog legs and snails
  • Rendered animal fats and greaves
  • Treated stomachs, bladders and intestines
  • Gelatine and collagen
  • Certain cold stores and wholesale markets

You cannot operate your food establishment until we have approved it. It’s a criminal offence to run unapproved food premises and you can be prosecuted for doing so.

Some food businesses require approval instead of food business registration.


You don’t need to be inspected or approved if you sell direct to the public or retailers like caterers, pubs and restaurants, as long as:

  • food is less than 25% of your trade
  • you don’t handle any wild game meat products
  • you don’t sell food outside the county your business is registered in

You must still follow the rules for controlling the temperature and storage of any food you transport.

Visit the Food Law Practice Guidance (England) for more information.

How to apply for approval

You can apply online - please see below for the list of supporting documents you'll need to supply with your application.

Apply online for approval of food premises

Read our privacy notice which tells you how we use your data.

Approval process and timescales

Although we aim to process applications as quickly as possible, delays may occur if you've not submitted the required information and documents. We'll also need to inspect your premises before we grant approval.

The approval process requires that you put in place procedures to manage food safety based upon Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

The HACCP documents will make up part of your food safety management system which should be tailored to fit your business and should be simple and appropriate to the scale and type of production you intend to carry out.

If you haven't heard from us within 28 days of submitting an application, please contact us.

Changes to approval

Once you have been approved, you'll need to tell us if there is a change of food business operator or a change in the nature of the business.

If you want to carry out any additional activities or wish to change the processes that are carried out in the establishment, you should contact us for advice as you may require further approval.


If we refuse your application you may appeal to a Magistrates Court within 28 days of a decision being made. If you're still not happy with the decision, you can make a further appeal to the Crown Court.

Supporting documents

The following documents must be uploaded/submitted with your application:

  • A detailed scale plan of the (proposed) establishment showing the location of rooms and other areas to be used for the storage and processing of raw materials, product and waste, and the layout of facilities and equipment.
  • A description of the (proposed) food safety management system based on HACCP principles.
  • A description of the (proposed) establishment and equipment maintenance arrangements.
  • A description of the (proposed) establishment, equipment and transport cleaning arrangements.
  • A description of the (proposed) waste collection and disposal arrangements.
  • A description of the (proposed) water supply.
  • A description of the (proposed) water supply quality testing arrangements.
  • A description of the (proposed) arrangements for product testing.
  • A description of the (proposed) pest control arrangements.
  • A description of the (proposed) monitoring arrangements for staff health.
  • A description of the (proposed) staff hygiene training arrangements.
  • A description of the (proposed) arrangements for record keeping.
  • A description of the (proposed) arrangements for applying the identification mark to product packaging or wrapping.