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Applying for approval of a meat establishment

How to apply for approval of a slaughterhouse, cutting plant, wholesale meat market and game handling establishment.
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Establishments approved by the Food Standards Agency

The following establishments require veterinary control and must be approved by us before they start trading:

  • slaughterhouses
  • cutting plants
  • game handling establishments
  • wholesale meat market
You cannot start trading before receiving an 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 FSA. If you start trading without approval, it is an offence which may lead to prosecution.
You need to apply for approval from your local authority if you run:
  • a meat establishment
  • a fish and shellfish establishment
  • a dairy establishment
  • an animal produce establishment

Apply for approval

Complete the relevant application form and send to:

Food Standards Agency
Approvals Team
Room 112, Kings Pool
Peasholme Green
York YO1 7PR

When we receive your application one of our veterinary officials will contact you within two weeks to arrange a visit to conduct an assessment.

Application for additional activities 

If you are already approved as a meat establishment and wish to apply for approval of additional activities or species please complete this application form and email to

Advisory visits

Prospective FBOs wishing to obtain approval for their establishments may request an advisory visit. Advisory visits aim to help the FBO identify the welfare and hygiene requirements which may apply to their proposed approval activities. Areas of advice include building structure, equipment and facilities, operational hygiene considerations and HACCP, good practices, record management and standard operating procedures as well as animal welfare. Advisory visits will be charged at a set fee which is payable before the visit is scheduled to take place. This fee for the financial year April 2021 - March 2022 is £358.44 inclusive of VAT. This fee is strictly non-refundable.

To request an advisory visit, you will need to submit an application form to and state that you require an advisory visit. The approvals Team will provide details of how to make this payment.

England and Wales


EU references in FSA guidance documents 

The FSA is updating all EU references, to accurately reflect the law now in force, in all new or amended guidance published since the Transition Period ended at the end of 2020. In some circumstance it may not always be practicable for us to have all EU references updated at the point we publish new or amended guidance.

Other than in Northern Ireland, any references to EU Regulations in this guidance should be read as meaning retained EU law. You can access retained EU law via HM Government EU Exit Web Archive. This should be read alongside any EU Exit legislation that was made to ensure retained EU law operates correctly in a UK context. EU Exit legislation is on In Northern Ireland, EU law will continue to apply in respect to the majority of food and feed hygiene and safety law, as listed in the Northern Ireland Protocol, and retained EU law will not apply to Northern Ireland in these circumstances.

Approval assessment

As part of the approval process, we will assess:

  • the equipment and structure of your establishment
  • your food safety management system, as part of the approval process.

You are not permitted to operate until a conditional approval has been granted.

After approval, one of our veterinary officials will return within three months to assess production and your compliance with all the hygiene requirements in Regulation 852/2004 and Regulation 853/2004.

Once approved, details of the premises together with information relating to types of foods produced are added to the list of approved UK food establishments and approved EU food establishments registers.

Right of appeal

You have a right to appeal our decision if your premises is refused approval under Regulation 12 of the Official Feed and Food Controls Regulations 2009.

You can submit an appeal one month from the date when you were notified of the decision.

Operational policy

The Operational policy explains the application and decision-making process involved in giving approval to your businesses. It also explains the circumstances in which we would remove your approval.

This document is for food business operators of existing approved food businesses and potential:

  • slaughterhouses
  • cutting plants
  • game handling establishments
  • wholesale markets 

List of approved food establishments

Team contacts