Registration and Approval of New Food Premises

If you sell food to anyone other than the final consumer (to other businesses including retailers and caterers) and the food contains meat or meat products, dairy products, wild game, fish, shellfish or eggs you may need to be formally approved before you can start trading.

Registration is followed up by the establishment of an inspection programme for each premises, to ensure that food safety legislation and guidance is adhered to and public health is protected. Food registration is not a 'one-off' process, any changes must be notified to the local authority. A separate form must be completed for each premises.

Approval or Registration

Premises subject to Regulation EC 852/2004

You may need approval if you wholesale dairy products, meat products, fishery products, egg products, minced meat, or meat preparations. Generally, if you are manufacturing products containing ingredients of animal origin, and you are processing any of the ingredients, you will need approval. 'Processing' would include heat treatment of the food, for example, pasteurisation of a dairy product. The basic principle is that food safety and traceability is validated and verified through HACCP management, controlled at the point of production to prevent food hazards and protect public health.

If, however you are manufacturing food products with bought in 'processed' ingredients from another approved food manufacturer, you may not need approval. The list below provides food products that, should you be processing as part of your food production process to sell to retailers you should contact us to enquire about approval.

Businesses that use or intend to use "unprocessed products of animal origin", such as fresh meat, raw minced meat, raw milk, or eggs, or a combination of any of the following may require approval:

  • Dairy Products
  • Egg packing (>360 eggs per week, if selling to retailers and caterers will require approval for grading and packing as Class A)
  • Egg Products
  • Fishery Products
  • Frogs Legs and Snails
  • Gelatine and Collagen
  • Live Bivalve Molluscs
  • Minced Meat
  • Meat Preparations
  • Mechanically Separated Meat
  • Meat Products
  • Raw Milk (Other Than Raw Cows' Milk)
  • Rendered Animal Fats and Greaves
  • Treated Stomachs, Bladders and Intestines

Some other business types may also require registration:

  • Businesses With Certain Types of Cold Stores
  • Businesses That Trade From Wholesale Markets

There are exemptions from the approval requirement;

If you are a retailer, or have a genuine retail element to your business (ie farm gate sales) and intend to supply other retailers or caterers you could be exempt from approval if the supply of the food of animal origin is "marginal", "localised", or "restricted". Definitions of these terms are explained in deatil in the FSA Approval Guide..

Marginal is interpreted as meaning a small part of the establishments business, that is, up to a quarter of the business in terms of general food production, or less than 2 tonnes in terms of meat, whichever comes first.

Localised is interpreted as meaning sales within the supplying establishments own county, plus the greater of either the neighbouring county or counties, or supplying food to establishments up to 30 miles outside of the county boundary that the food is produced within.

Restricted is interpreted as meaning concerning only certain types of products being made or establishments being supplied.

Regulations:pdf icon 178/2002 [89kb] pdf icon 852/2004 [110kb]  pdf icon 853/2004 [271kb]

If you are unsure whether your business requires approval, please contact the team on 01237 428809 or email foodandsafety@torridge.gov.uk

My business needs food manufacturers approval. What do I need to do?

If you have a food business in the Torridge District which requires an approval contact us and we'll arrange an advisory visit. You cannot operate until your business has been formally approved in writing.

Approved businesses have to comply with Regulation EC 852/2004 and 853/2004. Your food safety management procedures (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)) will dictate what additional equipment and controls you will need e.g. metal detection, microbiological testing facilities etc. The HACCP principles are explained in the next section. Before they can be implemented however, the following examples of prerequisites must also be in place to provide a sound foundation for your HACCP procedures:

a)  Cleaning and sanitation
b)  Personal Hygiene measures and infection control for visitors and staff
c)  Training of supervisors and food handlers
d)  Pest control measures
e)  Supplier quality assurance
f)   Management of waste
g)  Preventative maintenance programme
h)  Food incident recall management systems

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to implement other prerequisites e.g. glass policy, micro testing etc. It is up to you to identify what these may be.

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP)

Once you have put the above prerequisites in place, we would advise you to create a process work flow diagram for each of your products. The creation of this document requires you to think about:

  • Detailed plan of the premises, processes and equipment, air flows, drainage, water supply, pest monitoring points
  • What happens to the raw materials once they are brought into your business
  • Temerature controls
  • Where is food stored and managed
  • How stock control will be maintained and rotated
  • How the materials are moved around your business
  • How you will avoid the raw materials coming into contact with the processed product
  • Where the finished product will be stored after the production
  • How the finished product will be stored after production

An effective work flow diagram will help you to identify the process steps, which will then help you with your HACCP programme. It is often useful to draw a plan of the processes to more easily visualise it; cross-contamination issues may also be high-lighted where flow lines meet or cross over.

The HACCP principles are:

  • To identify any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to ensure the production of safe food.
  • To identify the Critical Control Points (CCP's) at the above-identified step(s), where controls are essential to prevent or eliminate a hazard or to reduce it to acceptable levels.
  • Establish a critical limit at the identified CCP's, which separate acceptability from unacceptability for the prevention, elimination or reduction of identified hazards.
  • Establish and implement effective monitoring procedures at the identified CCP's.
  • Establish corrective actions so that when monitoring indicates a CCP is not under control, the food may be brought back under control.
  • Establish actions for the removal of food products that are deemed unacceptable.
  • Establish monitoring 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.
  • Review the procedures on a regular basis, or when a change occurs within your business that could require a change to your procedures.

Your food safety management system must be tailored to fit your business as it expands or changes. The complexity of the system must be appropriate to the scale and type of production that you intend to carry out. So the larger and/or more complex your business, the more detailed your HACCP system must be. The plan should however be concise and focus on critical controls, it is important not to over complicate your HACCP procedure and you should reduce the essential critical control points to a manageable number to provide absolute assurance of safe food.

Approval Process - What Next?

If you have not already done so, please contact our department to arrange for a visit to your premises. We offer a friendly and supportive service and are here to help. Our contact details are at the bottom of this page.

Depending on what we find during our visit, we may instruct you to undertake a planned programme of works in order to achieve approval, and you and/or your employees may need to gain further training that is proportionate to the size and nature of your business. We will advise you on any works that are necessary.

An Approval application form will be sent to you and there will be a certain amount of information that you will need to send to us with the completed form, which will include a detailed scale plan and a description of the proposed arrangements of your business. This will include the (proposed) arrangements for:

  • Detailed plan of the premises, process and equipment
  • Waste Collection and Disposal Arrangements.
  • Water Supply Quality Testing Arrangements.
  • Arrangements for Product Testing (Shelf Life/Microbiological/Water).
  • Pest Control Arrangements.
  • Arrangements for Monitoring Staff Health and Staff Hygiene Training.
  • Record Keeping.
  • Applying the Identification Mark to Product Packaging or Wrapping.

Training in the application of HACCP principles is required for both you and your staff. Formal training in food hygiene matters to a level appropriate to your work is also necessary. If you are unable to find where to receive this training, please contact us on the number below as we have a list of locally available trainers. We are also currently running our own low-cost training events that may be suitable for you and/or your staff. You can find details of our current courses on This Page.

Approval Marks

Approval Identity MarksOnce your business is approved, we will issue your establishment with a unique approval number which is part of the standard oval identification mark that must be applied to both your products and your documentation. The "oval identification mark" includes a unique 3-digit approval number (UK TI XXX EC). This mark ensures that the products you produce are traceable back to your company.

If you wish to check that you are complying with the labelling requirements, contact Error whilst rendering inline with type ID 4 (External Link Inline): Exception: 'gi.controlsite.CSObjects.CSNotFoundException', message 'Invalid Identifier : Link ID 5422 was not found'.

For more details of the services we provide, please call the Torridge District Council Food and Safety Team on (01237) 428700, or e-mail us foodandsafety@torridge.gov.uk.