Registration

All food businesses must be registered with us at least 28 days before opening. See the Food Business Registration page for further details and information on how to register.

Starting up

If you are looking to start up your own food business, you must comply with certain requirements. See the Food Standard Agency's (FSA) website Starting a Food Business section for further information.

We offer a number of food safety training courses for caterers. See the Training Opportunities page for further information.

E.coli guidance

E.coli 0157 is a harmful bacterium that is particularly dangerous because it can survive during refrigeration and freezing and is tolerant of acid, salt and dry conditions. If consumed, even at very low doses, it can lead to death or serious untreatable illness.

The FSA has issued guidance for food businesses on how to control the risks associated with E.coli O157. 

Our Food Team fully endorses the guidance and urges you to implement all of the controls contained in the guidance. The guidance will help ensure that you produce safe food and can comply with the law. 
The guidance requires food businesses to make sure they are using appropriate disinfectants - you can download a list of disinfectants that meet the requirements of British Standards BS EN 1276:1997 or BS EN 13697:2001.

Food allergen labelling and information

People with food allergies have to be extremely careful about what they eat. Therefore, food labelling is very important to anyone with a food allergy as there can be serious consequences if they eat something to which they are allergic.

The EU Food Information for Consumers (FIC) Regulation introduced new allergy rules in December 2014. These affect your business if you are a food manufacturer, packer, importer, retailer or caterer.

The rules require all food businesses to provide information about allergens and allergenic ingredients used in food sold or provided by them. The rules apply to food that is both prepacked or sold loose/non-prepacked.

The following guidance leaflets can help you comply with the rules on allergens. Please note that more than one of them might be relevant to your business:

The FSA has issued resources for allergen information, which includes guidance, free training, posters, leaflets and factsheets, to help food businesses comply with the EU FIC Regulation.

Cake makers

If you make and sell cakes, you must register your food business and comply with basic food safety and legal requirements, even if you operate your business from home. Registration does not necessarily mean a food inspector will visit you.

Please read the cake maker advice leaflet and use the checklist at the end to help meet your food safety requirements.

It is important that we don't visit businesses which present little or no risk to public health, so please complete and return our questionnaire to help us determine which businesses should be included in our programme of inspections.

Other information and advice

A number of useful guides and resources are available to help you meet your legal requirements:

Newsletters

We publish a Food and Safety Newsletter twice a year to provide businesses with information on current food hygiene and health and safety issues. Previous editions are available below to download: