Applying for approval of a food or meat establishment by a local authority
How to apply for approval by a local authority, approval process and right to appeal.
If you think you may need approval, please contact your local authority before applying.
When you don’t need to apply for approval
There are some exemptions from the requirement to be approved by a local authority, including:
- you only sell direct to the public
- you are a retail business supplying products of animal origin to other businesses (including caterers) on a marginalised, localised and restricted basis
Additionally, there may be an exemption available depending on the extent to which you wish to supply food of animal origin to other businesses. You should contact your local authority to determine whether you could claim such an exemption from the need for approval.
If a food business is exempted from the requirement to be approved, you must register your food business with the local authority at least 28 days before opening. If you are already trading and have not registered, you need to do so as soon as possible.
Apply for approval by a local authority
To obtain approval, establishments will have to meet all of the relevant requirements of:
- retained EU Regulation 852/2004 and retained EU Regulation 853/2004 for England and Wales
- Regulation 852/2004 and Regulation 853/2004 for Northern Ireland and other requirements of food law relevant to the type of food business in Northern Ireland
You cannot start trading before receiving approval. You must not commence any business activity which requires approval unless you have received conditional or full approval for your proposed activity from the local authority. If you start trading without approval, it is an offence which may lead to prosecution.
Once approved, details of the premises together with information relating to types of foods produced are added to the list of approved establishments.
Right of appeal
You have a right to appeal a decision made by the local authority that has refused to grant an approval.
You can appeal against that decision to the relevant court and must submit an appeal one month from the date when you were notified of the decision.
List of approved food establishments
Published: 6 December 2018
Last updated: 16 May 2022