Food business registration and inspections

By law any premise used to prepare, store, transport or sell food must be registered so we can visit them to ensure they are meeting food safety standards. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of food business.

Registration is not a licence and does not mean the business complies with food safety law.

If you run a food business, you must tell us about any premises you use for preparing, storing, selling or distributing food. Food businesses can include restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses (bed and breakfasts), food delivery vehicles, market and other stalls, mobile catering and ice cream vans etc.

Food organisations which donate food such as charities and homeless shelters, as well as people who produce food in their home for the public for example jam making, cake baking etc. will also need to be registered.

If you use premises in more than one council area, you must register with each one separately.

Certain types of food activity do not need to register, for example;

  • Infrequent activities, such as one off events.
  • If you make food for your friends and family.
  • Village halls with kitchens which are only let out for use by members of the public.
  • Places where the main activity is not to do with food. For example, hairdressers providing tea and biscuits.
  • Places where food is only sold through vending machines.

A mobile food trader is someone who trades from a self-contained movable unit (eg burger van, ice cream van, stall, etc). A mobile trader may trade from one or multiple locations and the proposed trading sites must be approved by us.

You must register your mobile food business with us with details of where you store your mobile unit.

If you are planning to sell food on the street you must apply for street trading consent. If you plan to trade on the highway you should contact us.

  • The name and contact details for the food business.
  • The name of your local council.
  • Details about the nature and scope of your business. 
  • The date you plan to start trading.
  • The type of water supply you have, if you have a spring, well or borehole etc.
  • Planned opening time (commercial premises only).

Mobile food traders will need to provide details about where and how they plan to trade.

You can register by completing the online food business registration form.

Please complete all the boxes which apply to your business and give as much information as possible. If you do not provide enough details your registration may be delayed while we get more information from you.

If you require a paper version, please contact the Food Safety team.

There is no charge for registration.

The addresses and the type of food business will be added to the public register of food businesses. Any other information will not be publicly available, but will be used by the food and safety team when carrying out visits and to help provide specific advice and guidance for different types of food businesses.

Once you have registered you will only need to notify us if there has been a change of food business owner, the nature of the business changes, if the business moves address or a vehicle is stored at a different address. To notify us of a change you should complete a new application form.

If you intend to make, prepare or handle food of animal origin (eg meat, fish or dairy) for supply to other businesses, in most circumstances you will need approval. Further information on the approved premises process can be found on the gov.uk food premises approval page.

We may use the information you provide to prevent and detect fraud. We may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds.