Applying for approval of a meat or food establishment by the FSA
How to apply for approval by the Food Standards Agency, approval assessment and right of appeal.
Application for a new establishment
Use our approvals service to apply for approval of your establishment by the FSA. You will need to create an account to use this service.
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
Use our approvals service, if you are already approved as a meat establishment and want to apply for approval of additional activities or species.
Managing your application
Once you’ve submitted your application, you will be able to manage and track it in our approvals applications service.
England and Wales
If you want to obtain approval for your establishment you may request an advisory visit. Advisory visits aim to help the you identify the welfare and hygiene requirements which may apply to your 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 1 April 2023 to March 2024 is £375.36 inclusive of VAT. This fee is strictly non-refundable.
You can request an advisory visit, when you submit your application form using our approvals service.
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 circumstances 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 legislation.gov.uk.
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.
As part of the approval process, we will assess:
- the equipment and infrastructure 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 officials will return within three months to assess production and your compliance with all the hygiene requirements in:
- 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
Once approved, details of the premises together with information relating to types of foods produced are added to the lists of approved establishments.
Right of appeal
You have a right to appeal our decision if your premises is refused approval under food law.
You can submit an appeal one month from the date when you were notified of the decision.
You can find a full process overview for the approval of meat establishments in chapter 1 section 4 of the Manual of Official Controls (MOC). It also explains the circumstances in which we would remove your approval
List of approved food establishments
A full list of establishments, such as cutting plants and slaughterhouses, approved to handle, prepare or produce products of animal origin for which requirements are laid down in Regulation (EC) No 853/2004.
Published: 18 December 2017
Last updated: 14 April 2023