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Registering a food business

You need to register your food business with us if you store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises including restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops, canteens, market stalls, mobile catering vans and food delivery vans.

Register your food business. There is no fee for registering your business.

Food premises approval

Some manufacturers handling animal products (meat, fish, egg or dairy products) may need food premises approval. These may include.

  • Meat processing plants
  • Meat preparation plants
  • Minced meat processing operations and mechanically separated meat processing plants
  • Cold stores

Find out more and apply for food premises approval.

Once the completed application form has been received a visit will be made by an Environmental Health Officer to assess your premises.

We must process your application before you can begin trading. It’s a criminal offence to run unapproved food premises.

Running a food business from home

You must register your food business if you run it from home eg you make and sell cakes.

When running a food business from home your kitchen must meet the requirements of the hygiene regulations but the regulations do acknowledge a slightly lesser standard for domestic premises. Read the Food Standards Agency guidance on starting a food business. Our new food business starter pack will help you to understand and meet all health and safety requirements.

You must have a written food safety management system appropriate to the size and nature of your business. The Food Standards Agency provides several written food safety management systems you can use.

If you are going to pre-pack food for sale you should contact Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards for any advice on labelling requirements for the foods that you sell eg ingredients, allergens and shelf life.

You must have completed some food hygiene training. Level 2 or 3 Food Safety training qualifications are appropriate, but you must make sure the training covers the type of activity you are planning to carry out eg catering or retail. Online training courses must meet the syllabus or be accredited to one of the main awarding bodies eg CIEH, RSPH, City and Guilds etc

Basic guidance on running a food business at home:

  • Make sure any children and pets are not around when you are preparing food for the business.
  • Do not do washing (laundry) at the same time
  • Have nothing around that could accidentally fall into food eg plants, notice boards with pins etc
  • Most people have designated cupboards for storage of equipment, utensils, ingredients, etc and a separate shelf in the fridge for high risk items or a separate fridge (depending on the size of the business)
  • Clean all surfaces with an anti-bactericidal spray before food preparation takes place.
  • Do not prepare food for the business if you have had diarrhoea and vomiting. You must be symptom free for 48 hours
  • Be aware of allergens and how these are stored at home and how they could contaminate any food you prepare
  • If you transport food to a venue it must be done hygienically and high risk foods must be in cool boxes or other insulated containers