Food businesses

Find out everything you need to know about food hygiene and health and safety for your food business.

Before opening your business, we can help you with the following: 

Registering your food business

Registration of premises used for a food business (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures) is required by law. There is no fee payable for registration. You should register your food business only if you are ready to start operating.

Meat, dairy, poultry, fish and egg products - food businesses must obtain official approval from our food safety department before they start operating if they produce, process or export foods containing meat, poultry, dairy and egg products if they are to be sold in a retail shop. Please contact us for an Application for Approval form  

Businesses that sell alcohol and/or trade late may need an alcohol and entertainment licence. Businesses that trade from vehicles, trailers or stalls may need a street trading licence. See our licensing pages for more help.

Visit our planning and building control section for advice about compliance with planning regulations for your premises.

Planning your business and understanding the regulations

It is the responsibility of the owners and managers of a food business to ensure that their business complies with Food Safety Regulations. It is important that all risks to people arising from the operations undertaken by the business are assessed and properly controlled. This is for both food safety and occupational health purposes.

The food safety management system

The European Union Food Hygiene Regulation 2006, requires all food businesses to have a food safety management system. You will need to look at each stage and identify what might go wrong with the food you sell and what you must do to ensure it is safe for your customers.  Also, the person with daily control of the business is required to be trained in the food safety management system they have implemented.

The Food Standards Agency has developed a 'Safer Food, Better Business' pack to help small businesses put in place food safety management procedures and to help businesses comply with food hygiene regulations. To download their information packs, view training videos and get further advice about starting a food business, visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Organising waste and recycling collection

Visit our business waste and recycling section for more information.

Getting appropriate training and tools

Our Food team will be running food training courses soon. The courses are likely to cover:

  • Food Poisoning - where it comes from and how it gets into our food
  • Prevention - how to prevent contamination and the growth of bacteria
  • The law - a brief summary of food law and how it affects you

For more information about the requirement for training for staff, visit our food handler training page.


Reporting illegally working immigrants

Please note that the council does not investigate allegations of illegal immigrants working in food shops. The food team will investigate whether or not the business complies with food regulations.

Anyone who suspects this should email  

More information is available on the Home Office website at