Food premises approval

If you run a food business, you may need to apply for approval for your premises.

You will need to apply for approval if you intend to use unprocessed products of animal origin (e.g. fresh meat, raw minced meat, raw milk or eggs) to produce any, or a combination of, the following: 

  • Minced meat
  • Meat preparations 
  • Mechanically separated meat 
  • Meat products 
  • Live bi-valve molluscs (shellfish such as oysters, mussels and scallops) 
  • Fishery products 
  • Raw milk (other than raw cows’ milk) 
  • Dairy products 
  • Eggs (not primary production) 
  • Egg products 
  • Frogs’ 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 it has been approved by us.

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

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles

The HACCP principles are:

  • To identify any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels
  • To identify the critical control points (CCP’s) at the step/s at which control is essential to prevent or eliminate a hazard or to reduce it to acceptable levels
  • Establish a critical limit at those CCP’s which separate acceptability from unacceptability for the prevention, elimination or reduction of identified hazards
  • Establish and implement effective monitoring procedures at critical control points
  • Establish corrective actions when monitoring indicates a CCP is not under control
  • Establish procedures to verify that the above measures are working effectively
  • Establish documents and records commensurate with the nature and size of the food business to ensure that the above measures are effective

Your food safety management system can be tailored to fit your business. It should be simple and appropriate to the scale and type of production you intend to carry out.

Before implementing your documented system, a prerequisite programme should be in place which provides a sound foundation for your HACCP. Examples of prerequisites to consider would be:

  1. Cleaning and sanitation
  2. Personal hygiene
  3. Training for yourself and employees
  4. Pest control
  5. Supplier quality assurance
  6. Management of waste
  7. Preventative maintenance programme
  8. Incident / recall management systems

Once you have put these prerequisites in place a process work flow for each of your products is advised. You will need to think about where the raw materials are going to be stored and managed, stock control and rotation, how to avoid the raw materials coming into contact with the processed product, and where the finished product will be stored after production. An effective work flow diagram will also identify the process steps and help you with your HACCP programme.

There are some exemptions from the requirement to be approved.

Exemption from food premises approval

Exemption from food premises approval

You may not need to apply for food premises approval, depending on the nature of your business.

You could be exempt from approval if you are a retailer and you intend to supply to other retailers or caterers, as long as the supply of food of animal origin is ‘marginal, localised and restricted’.

Marginal’ means a small part of the establishment’s business. This would be up to a quarter of the business in terms of food, or less than 2 tonnes in terms of meat.

Localised’ means sales within the supplying establishment’s own county, plus the greater of either the neighbouring county or counties or 30 miles from the boundary of the supplying establishment’s county.

Restricted’ means concerning only certain types of products being made, or establishments being supplied.

If you are unsure whether you need to apply for approval, contact us at

If you are unsure whether you need to apply for approval for your premises, contact us.

How do I apply for approval?

The quickest and easiest way is to apply online.

Apply for food premises approval at (external website)

If you already have food premises approval and your circumstances change, let us know.

Tell us about changes to food premises

How much does it cost?

It does not cost anything to apply for food premises approval.