Running a Food Business
Registering your food business
A new food business needs to be registered at least 28 days prior to opening. All food premises, including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures, must be registered. You can read more about registering your food premises, and find the relevant forms, on our licensing pages. Home catering businesses also need to register, and comply with relevant food hygiene legislation. The Food Standards Agency has published guidance for food safety in home premises. Once you have read all of the relevant information, please complete this food business registration form to register a new business, or to report a change to an existing business. An officer will arrange to visit a newly registered food business within eight weeks of registration.
If you are starting a food business in a premises that has not been used previously for this purpose you may need to obtain planning permission. You may also need planning permission if you intend to make extensions and/or alterations to the property. This will probably not apply if you just want to start a retail food business in a building already used as a different type of retail shop but may apply if you wish to start a hot food takeaway or restaurant. Please check with Planning Services for further information and advice.
Under Part H1, Section 2.21 of the Building Regulations 2000, Arun District Council require the provision of a grease trap/separator as a Planning Condition at all new commercial hot food premises, which have been subject to a planning application for change of use to A3 and/or A5. The grease traps must be British Standard compliant, these standards can be found in Building Regulations, Approved Document H.
To learn more about complying with requirements for toilet and ventilation facilities, please read the guidance documents kitchen ventilation guidance.doc [doc] 59KB and Provision of sanitary accommodation.pdf [pdf] 159KB. Please also see EMAQ Kitchen Odour Guidance.pdf [pdf] 2MB (please note, this document has been currently removed from availability as being reviewed but is still useful). For disabled toilet design, we advise you to contact Building Control for advice.
Food safety management
Every food business will be required to prepare and implement a food safety management system. You may also know it as HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control points). As the proprietor of a food business you must assess food preparation processes, identify any possible hazards and decide how these can be reduced or eliminated so that the end product is safe. Please see FSA Guidance for preparing a detailed HACCP e.g. Butcher shops. FSA Home Catering guidance is also available.
To help you comply the Food Standards Agency has developed the Safer Food, Better Business packs for small to medium sized catering businesses such as restaurants, cafés and takeaways. If you are a new business you can obtain a safer food better business for caterers pack on the Food standards Agency website. The Food Standards Agency has updated their website to allow for you to complete the safer food better business packs electronically. These sections can be downloaded and printed (established print friendly mode) but the agency strongly recommends you complete the fields electronically and save to your computer. The new cost of Arun DC SFBB pack printing service is £21.
An Arun DC Low Risk FSM Pack (16-12-09).pdf [pdf] 121KB is available, for low risk food businesses only.
We also produce a useful guide: How to get a good food hygiene rating.docx [docx] 35KB.
In addition the agency has designed and made available packs for ethnic businesses to cover Chinese and Indian cuisines. A version is also available for food Retailers, Childminders, Care Homes, Colleges and many Specialised Industries with updated industry publications.
- The Mobile Catering Guidance.pdf [pdf] 36KB may be useful for start-up companies
- The guide to starting a food business is a food standards agency booklet and is available through the Food Standards Agency
- Information on food safety training is available via CIEH including a specific CIEH outdoor catering guide.
- The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) website is recommended.
Commercial waste management and drains
You need to have adequate storage facilities for food waste at your premises i.e. food waste bins, and that you have a licensed waste carrier in place to remove your food waste, recycling or general waste. Please see the Environment Agency waste carrier register to check waste collection company is registered with the EA.
You also need to ensure that you keep your drains working effectively. Fats, oils and grease can be bad news for businesses that prepare and sell a lot of food, such as pubs, restaurants and take aways. The build up of fat in pipes can cause blocked drains, overflowing sinks and toilets either on the premises or to the neighbourhood. It can be costly to put right and you may even have to close the business while repair work is carried out. Businesses are required by law not to have waste block or damage sewer networks under Section 111 of the Water Industry Act 1991. In addition under the Building Regulations food establishments should have a grease separator fitted to drains serving kitchens or other effective means of removing grease. Southern Water has provided specific guidance about the disposal of fats and their website has more information. There is also a handy drain guide leaflet which is available in a variety of languages.
Domestic drain guidance
Every year 1000’s of blockages in sewers and drains are caused by flushing the wrong things down the toilet or pouring fats, oils and grease down the sink. The sewers and drains in your home are only made for the 3 P’s i.e. Pee, Poo and Paper. our pipes are smaller than you think, about 10cm, so the smallest blockage can cause your home or garden to flood. Southern Water has provided guidance on their website and there is also a Keep it Clear [pdf] 2MB leaflet which gives further help?
Sickness at work
Any persons dealing with open food who are ill with sickness and diarrhoea could contaminate the food or surfaces that they come in contact with. In addition they could spread the infection to other people. Those ill should refrain from work, report to your manager if a member of staff and not to return back to work for at least 48 hours clear of symptoms.The Food Handlers: Fitness to Work booklet explains what managers and staff should do to spread this infection.
Food Hygiene Training
Food hygiene training is available from Chichester District Council and more information can be found at: http://www.chichester.gov.uk/article/24694/Food-safety-training.
There are various online Food Safety courses available, e.g; ABC Food Safety, Virtual College, High Speed Training and Highfields.
- Please see the link: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-labelling-for-food-manufacturers
- Additional guidance is available from West Sussex Trading Standards document link - https://www.businesscompanion.info/
- Find registered local traders on Trading Standards website - https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/
Eat Out Eat Well (EOEW)
- Please see: https://eatouteatwell.org/
- EOEW self-assessment forms without scores for FBO: Self Assessment Form without scores - unbranded.pdf [pdf] 888KB
- EOEW Catering Guide Dec 2014 for guidance: EOEW Caterers guide Dec 2014.pdf [pdf] 21MB
For further information about food safety, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01903 737755 or write to the Littlehampton address below.