Food Business 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 Food Business Approval instead of Food Premises 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?
  • 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;
  • eggs (not primary production) and egg products;
  • 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 etc;
  • 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 the local authority.

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 make 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 Safety Team for further information.

However, even if a business is exempt, it will still need to be registered with the authority.

How do I get approval?

As your business will pose a higher risk due to the type of food business operation, you will be subject to stricter regulation. 

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.

The authority 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 West Somerset Council Food Safety Team prior to applying for approval to ascertain whether your business is applicable.

You should complete and submit the Approval of Food Business application form (36kb pdf) together with a detailed food safety management system based on the HACCP principles (to ensure that the food business operator is controlling risks at identified critical control points) and a plan of the premises showing storage and processing areas and the layout of facilities of equipment.

You can also apply online at but we would advise you to contact the food team in the first instance to obtain advice regarding this matter.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No - it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.  However, if you have not heard from us within 10 working days, please contact us.

What happens after application?

We will contact you to arrange to visit your premises and discuss the processing intended.  During the visit, the officer 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 will be kept informed as to the status of your approval.

Where approval is refused or only conditional, you have certain rights of appeal to the Magistrates Court.

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 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 which 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 authority. 

Contact Us

Food Safety Team
West Somerset House
Killick Way

Telephone: 01643 703704