Food establishment approval

The legal requirements for food premises (establishment) approval are above and beyond the general requirements for food businesses, as they often involve higher risk operations. The law requiring approval is found in Assimilated Regulation (EC) 853/2004.

Food businesses that must have approval before they are allowed to operate include those that:

  • sell most, or all, of their food on to other businesses such as retailers, cafes, restaurants, pubs; (so not directly to the final consumer) and
  • produce products of animal origin, which are defined as:
    • Minced meat and meat preparations
    • Meat products
    • Live bivalve molluscs
    • Fishery products
    • Raw milk and dairy products
    • Eggs and egg products
    • Frogs and snails
    • Rendered animal fats and greaves
    • Gelatin; collagen and
    • Stand alone cold and/or freezer stores

Note that approval law can be complex, this is not an exhaustive list and there are exemptions.

It is an offence to supply food from an establishment that requires but does not have approval.

Please contact us if you think the business you want to run may need approval or you are thinking of changing the way you operate before you spend money on equipment or premises, or make the application (see contact details below).

A list of approved establishments is kept on the Food Standards Agency (external link) website. 

There is no charge to submit an approval application form.

It is in the public interest that East Cambridgeshire District Council must process your application before it can be authorised. If you have not received a response to your application within a reasonable period or you have any other enquiries, please contact us (external link).

You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service (external link) or use the contact details below.

Commercial Team, Environmental Services, East Cambridgeshire District Council, The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4EE
Tel: 01353 665555

If you are an applicant or a third party, you should always contact us in the first instance if you have any queries, concerns or cause for complaint preferably in the form of a letter with proof of delivery. If you are not satisfied with the outcome and are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Service (external link) will give you advice.  If you are from outside the UK, please contact the UK European Consumer Centre (external link).

Further information