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New food business advice


Following the latest government and Food Standards Agency advice on social distancing, our food safety officers are not currently conducting routine food hygiene inspections in the usual way, to safeguard the businesses and our staff.  Our inspections are now resuming but we are working to support businesses by collecting as much information from them as we can from a distance, so that our announced verification visits are quicker and we can spend time supporting on COVID controls as well as hygiene.

Before you start or resume trading as a food business, please check regularly for up to date advice on the current situation using our business support pages, GOV.UK have produced some guidance  GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID‑19)' and 'Coronavirus HM Government: Keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.

If you are planning to cook food for your community or to donate food, whether as an existing business or as a community food group- please follow the current Food Standards Agency advice.

Starting a new food business

This information is designed to help you understand your legal responsibilities and help you get your business off to a good start. The following legislation will apply:

  • Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013
  • EC Regulation 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs

In some circumstances the following legislation may also apply:

  • EC Regulation 853/2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin

Food business registration

Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 days before they commence trading. The 28 days allows the Food and Safety Team to risk assess the proposed business, provide advice and where necessary visit. If you wish to trade before the 28 days has elapsed, you should first speak to the Food and Safety team to ensure no special restrictions apply.

Registration is not a 'licence' and does not indicate compliance with food safety law. 
Registration cannot be refused.

*(Article (6) of EC Regulation 852/2004)

Register your food business

Please read the guidance before completing your form.

Approved premises

Approved premises application

Icon for pdf Approved premises application [205.78KB] 

Food business registration form

Register your food business

Please read the guidance before completing your form.