Premises approval

If your food business makes, prepares or handles food of animal origin and supplies to other premises (even within your ownership) as a significant part of your overall business, you will need formal approval instead of registration from the council.

If your business is a slaughterhouse or meat cutting plant, it will need to be approved by the Food Standards Agency.

What is food of animal origin?

Food of animal origin includes:

  • meat and poultry - 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 - dead or alive
  • live bivalve molluscs
  • ready meals containing fish or meat
  • milk and dairy products such as butter, cream, cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream
  • frogs legs and snails
  • rendered animal fats and other animal by products such as gelatine, collagen, stomachs, bladders and intestines
  • honey and blood.

If the above applies to you, it is an offence to commence any food business activity unless you have received conditional or full approval from us.

Are there any exemptions?

There are exemptions in certain circumstances. If your food business supplies food of animal origin to the final consumer (person who will be eating the product), then you do not need approval. An example of this would be catering establishments, canteens, cafes, restaurants, shops and supermarkets.

If your premises makes foods containing both products of plant origin and processed products of animal origin, you may also be exempt. Additionally there may be an exemption available depending on the extent to which the business wishes to supply food of animal origin to other businesses. Please contact the food and safety team for further information.

However, even if you are exempt you will still need to be registered with the council.

How do I get approval?

You will need to fill in a detailed form and will be subject to stricter regulation. This is because your business poses a higher risk due to the type of food business operation.

To obtain approval you will need to meet certain hygiene standards set out in:

which are available on the Food Standards Agency website.

The application must be supported by certain food safety processing information. You will also have to put in place food safety management procedures based on the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles. This link will take you to an external website...

We will not grant approval unless your food business meets the required standards.

Is there a charge?

There is no fee for this application.

How do I apply?

Please contact South Oxfordshire District Council's food and safety team prior to applying for approval.

Alternatively you can complete the Application for Approval of a Food Business Establishment (pdf) - see downloads section of this page - and return to the food and safety team (see contacts section of this page).

A detailed food safety management system based on the HACCP principles must be submitted to ensure that the food business operator is controlling risks at identified critical control points. A scale plan of the establishment showing storage and processing areas must also be submitted which shows the layout of facilities and equipment.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the Public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 14 days then please contact us.

What happens after application?

Once we receive your application, an officer from the food and safety team will arrange to visit your premises and discuss the processing intended. They will determine whether all systems, procedures and documentation meet food hygiene requirements. Approval may at this stage be granted either fully or conditionally for three months.

At all stages you can expect to be kept fully informed in writing as to the status of your approval. Where approval is either refused or only conditional you also have certain rights of appeal.

Conditional approval

Where we grant conditional approval you will be informed in writing about the terms of the conditional approval. If at the end of the three months you have complied with these terms you can expect a further visit, where you will either be granted full approval, a further three months conditional approval or you will be refused approval.

Full approval

Those premises who receive full approval will be allocated a unique identification mark (an oval mark) which should then be applied to labelling or packaging on products. The approval will be notified to the Food Standards Agency who maintains a national database of all approved premises.

What about changes?

Food business operators must make sure the council always has up-to-date information, including any significant changes in activities or the closure of establishments. You must notify any changes in writing to the council.

You can notify us of any changes to an approved premises GOV.UK This link will take you to an external website... online.

Last reviewed: 28 - 06 - 2016

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