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Starting a catering business

Starting up - Your first steps to running a catering business booklet has been developed by the Food Standards Agency in co-operation with the Small Business Service, Inland Revenue, and Customs and Excise, aims to give an outline of all the main things someone starting up a food business needs to know about.

The booklet is primarily aimed at people who are setting up a restaurant, café, or other catering business, whether they are taking over a business that already exists, or starting a new one. It includes details on registering food premises, licences that may be required and regulations on premises, equipment, staff, transport and other areas.

It also contains a section on good food hygiene that explains the 4 Cs (Cleaning, Cooking, Chilling and Cross-contamination), personal hygiene, illness and storing food. In addition to food safety information, the booklet also gives some details on other issues that are relevant to new catering businesses, such as being self-employed, charging VAT and paying employees. It gives contact information for other organisations and government departments that may be helpful.

Copies can be ordered from Food Standards Agency Publications by calling 0845 606 0667 or emailing Alternatively you can access the booklet through the following link Starting up a food business

The Food Standards Agency website at is a useful source of general food safety information and links to other useful websites.

If you are thinking about starting a food business in Tandridge we suggest that you speak to an Environmental Health Officer about all the hygiene and safety issues involved.

It is always advisable to check on the existing planning conditions for the proposed site of your business and establish whether any changes you are considering will require additional planning permission.