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Food Premises Approval

Guidance on Food of Animal Origin and Applying for Approval

Introduction to Approval

If you run or intend to start up a business which makes or handles food of animal origin, you must comply with hygiene rules to make sure it has been produced safely. Food of animal origin includes:

  • Fresh meat
  • Mechanically separated meat
  • Minced meat
  • Cooked meat products (such as pies, ready meals etc)
  • Meat preparations (such as sausages, kebabs etc)
  • Shellfish
  • Fish and fishery products
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Egg and egg products
  • Rendered animal products

If you make or handle such products (other than selling them only to the final consumer) your premises normally have to be approved by the local authority. If your establishment needs approval, you do not need to register it as well. If your business is a slaughterhouse or meat cutting plant, it will need to be approved by the Food Standards Agency

Once approved you need to put an identification mark on your products and you must comply with the general hygiene requirements and some specific requirements which vary depending on the types of product you make. You also have to put in place food safety management procedures based on the HACCP principles.

If you make a composite food - that is one which contains both products of plant origin and processed products of animal origin, you will not normally require approval. For example, if you assemble frozen pizzas using tomatoes, ham, cheese and anchovies, your pizza is not a product of animal origin and does not have to comply with those requirements. However, the ham, cheese and anchovies will have had to originate from approved premises which comply. (e.g. if you produce the ham, you must comply with the requirements for meat production and be approved for this activity.)

Hygiene Requirements

In order to produce food safely, you must ensure that the place and the way it is produced is hygienic. You must make sure that your establishment is kept clean and is properly equipped and maintained. Foods must be hygienically handled. Staff must be appropriately supervised, and be instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters so that they can carry out their work hygienically. Those responsible for developing and maintaining procedures based on the HACCP principles need to have received adequate training. Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 describes in general the requirements you need to meet, whilst Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 sets out particular further requirements for different products of animal origin. Your business must also comply with Regulation (EC) No. 2073/2005 which sets out the microbiological criteria for foodstuffs.

Retailers Exemption from Approval

If your business is a retail business, which is the handling or processing of food and its storage at the point of sale or delivery to the final consumer of the food (who will not use the food as part of any other food business), and produce products of animal origin that you supply to other retail businesses you may be exempt from having to gain approval.

This exemption applies if your supply of products of animal origin to other retailers is a marginalised, localised and restricted activity.

  • Marginal - the production of products of animal origin is only a small part of your business. A small part of your business would be considered up to a quarter of the business in terms of food.
  • Localised - the other retail establishments that you supply are in the immediate vicinity of your establishment. This is interpreted as sales within your own county plus the greater of either the neighbouring county or counties or 30 miles from the boundary of the supplying establishment's county. In Hampshire this would mean supply to the whole of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight, or any point 30 miles from the county boundary.
  • Restricted - concerning only certain types of products or establishments.

Applying for Approval

If you think that your business requires approval you can complete this docs icon Approval Application Form [165kb]. If you are unsure, contact us so that we can confirm whether you need to apply for approval or just need to register your business.

If you are thinking of opening a slaughterhouse or meat cutting plant the premises must be approved by the Food Standards Agency

Updated: 21 May 2018
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