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Approved food premises

Your food business may need approval if you intend to use products of animal origin and supply to other premises (even within your ownership), as a significant part of your overall business. Please note that food premises approval is significantly different to food registration.

If your food business is a slaughterhouse or meat cutting plant, it will require approval by the Food Standards Agency. Information on this process can be accessed via the Food Standards Agency website.

If your food business requires approval, there are a number of requirements which need to be fulfilled. It is a criminal offence to commence food business activity unless conditional or full approval has been granted.

Do I need to be approved?

If a food business is handling, making and processing any of the products listed below, your premises may need approval.

Food of animal origin includes:

  • Meat and poultry (it does not make a difference whether it is fresh, frozen or cooked)
  • Meat products (such as pies, sausage rolls, faggots, black pudding and bacon)
  • Raw or partially cooked minced meat or meat preparations (such as sausages, burgers, marinated raw meat and kebab meat)
  • Fish and fish products (such as fish fingers, prawns, lobsters, crabs and crayfish - whether dead or alive)
  • Live bivalve molluscs
  • Ready meals containing fish or meat
  • Milk and dairy products (such as butter, cream, cheese, yogurt, ice cream)
  • Frogs' legs and snails
  • Rendered animal fats and other animal by-products such as gelatine, collagen, stomachs, bladders and intestines
  • Honey


There are, however, a number of exemptions from approval and consideration is given on a case-by-case basis.

If you are a retailer, or have a retail element to your business and intend to supply to other retailers or caterers you could be exempt from approval if the supply of the food of animal origin is "marginal, localised and restricted".

If a food business is exempt from the requirement to be approved, it must be registered with the Local Authority at least 28 days before the business opens or within 28 days of taking over an existing food business. Failure to register a food business or notify significant changes is an offence. More information on registration is available on the Food premises registration webpage.

How do I apply?

If you are unsure as to whether you need approval for your premises or would like the application sent out, please contact our City and neighbourhood team. The law relating to approval is complex and may result in unnecessary expense if advice is not sought and discussed prior to completing an application.

Application for approval

Application to change a food premises approval

Will 'tacit consent' apply?

If you do not hear from us within 28 days, you have the legal right to assume that your notification is successful.

The approval of your food premises will only be issued to you when we have:

  • Completed the inspection of the premises
  • Reviewed the paperwork associated with the business
  • Been satisfied that all the legal requirements have been met

However, if you have not heard from us within 14 days of submitting your application, we request that you contact our City and neighbourhood team.

Approval process

Local Authorities are responsible for the approval of establishments which process or handle food using other products of animal origin including meat processing where it is not co-located with an FSA-approved slaughter house, cutting or game establishment, fishery products, milk and dairy products, live bivalve molluscs and eggs.

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