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Starting up a new food business

Once you have decided to set up a food business you should make sure that you are familiar with all the legal requirements that will apply to your business. Check out the advice provide on the Food Standards Agency website:

Starting a food business

Food law inspections and your business

Register your food business

You must register your food business with us at least 28 days before opening. There is no charge for registration, but it is a legal requirement that you complete a registration form and notify us that you intend to operate a food business.

Go to our Food premises registration page to download a copy of the registration form. 

Please note that if the business is being operated by a Limited Company you must record the name of the company as the food business operator on the registration form.

Once registered your food business will be subject to regular food safety inspections by our Environmental Health Team.

Food Safety training

You will need to ensure that any staff who handle food are trained in food safety.

Food handlers who handle open high risk food should possess food safety knowledge that is equivalent to a level 2 food safety training. If you need help with this we offer level 2 training in food safety for catering. You can find out more information about our courses here: food safety training.

Alternatively, you can find out about other food safety training providers by contacting:

We recommend that managers hold a level 3 food safety qualification.

Food safety management system

You will need to have a written food safety management system based upon Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP). 

For catering and retail businesses the simplest way to achieve this is to use the Food Standards Agency’s Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) which is a free publication that you can downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website:

Safer food, better business

For small manufacturing businesses consider using the Food Standards Agency’s free ‘My HACCP’ tool:

MyHACCP - Helping you produce safe food

Alternatively, you can write your own food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point principles.

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