Food businesses

If you run or start a new food business, you must make sure you follow the correct regulations, food hygiene, and food safety management procedures. There are a number of things you need to consider:

Registering your food business

When you start a new food business, or take over an existing business, you must register 28 days before you being trading.

Registration can be completed on GOV.UK. We will receive notification of the details you have provided.

We will then contact you to arrange to inspect your business.

Approval of food business

Manufacturing food - If the premises are to be used for the manufacturing of food made from products of animal origin - including meat, fish, eggs and dairy products - you may need to get approval from us before you commence trading.

Contact us by emailing

Training and advice

All staff should undertake food hygiene training. Anybody who handles food including, preparation and cooking are recommended to have a Level 2 in Food Safety. Supervisors and managers are recommended to have a Level 3 awards in food safety. Refresher training is also recommended every three to five years.

Courses are available online and prices will vary so it is worth shopping around.

Food inspections

We do regular inspections of more than 900 food outlets across the borough.

To do this we have the right to enter and inspect food premises at any reasonable time.

We don't have to make an appointment and we'll usually come without advance notice.

The purpose of the inspection is

  • To establish whether food is being handled and produced hygienically
  • To establish whether food is safe to eat
  • To identify foreseeable incidences of food poisoning or injury as a consequence of consumption of food

As part of our inspections we can:

  • Take samples and photographs, and inspect records. You must not stop us from doing this.
  • Write to you asking to put right any problems we find. Where breaches of the law are identified, which must be put right, we may serve a Hygiene Improvement Notice.
  • Detain or seize foods

In serious cases we may decide to recommend a prosecution. If the prosecution is successful, the Court may impose prohibitions on processes and the use of premises or equipment, fines and possibly prison. If there is an imminent health risk to the public we can serve an Emergency Prohibition Notice that forbids the use of the premises or equipment. The Courts must confirm such a notice.