Starting a new food business

If you are starting a new food business, or taking over an existing business, it's a good idea to contact the Food Safety team to make sure you are doing everything right.

You must register the food business with the council at least 28 days before you intend to start operating.

If you are proposing to change the use of an existing premises, or carry out any building works, then you may require planning permission or building regulation approval.

Where seating is provided, you must also make sure you have adequate toilet facilities for customers. The scale of provision will be dependant on the number of covers.

  • Toilets must be adequately ventilated
  • Toilets must not communicate directly with a room in which food is handled.

If you intend to produce products of Animal Origin (POAO) and supply them to other businesses, you may require prior approval rather than registration.

Safer food, better business

Safer food, better business (SFBB) is a free food safety management pack produced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help small businesses put in place food safety management procedures and to follow food hygiene regulations.

The packs are split into two main parts. The first part covers the five main areas of food safety:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Chilling
  • Cross-contamination
  • Management

The second part includes a diary for your business to use everyday.

Allergens

On 13th December 2014 the Food Information for Consumers Regulations 2014 came into force.

These regulations require all manufacturers and businesses who sell unpackaged food (ie. cafes, takeaways, bakeries, delicatessens etc) to provide allergy information to consumers.

There are 14 specific allergens detailed in the regulations.

The purpose of the new legislation is to make it easier for people with food allergies to identify the foods and ingredients they need to avoid.