Health and Safety

Food Business Registration in the UK

Food Registration Overview

This article gives information on Food Business Registration in the UK.

Who Needs to Register as a Food Business?

Under the Food Premises (Registration) Regulations 1991, a restaurant, or food business must register its intention to provide food to the public before opening, this registration is mandatory. A food business or restaurant is any business that sells food and usually alcohol and/or covers any food operations.

What Type of Operations Fall Under Food Registration?

• Food preparation. • Cooking. • Storing. • Handling. • Supplying. • Selling of food. As a result of the type of work involved in a restaurant in regard to food handling, there are safety procedures and policies for public protection that should be adhered to when providing food to the public.

Food Registration – Training

The staff and owners of a restaurant must be trained proficiently on proper food hygiene as well as health and safety regulations. Food safety courses and certificates should be displayed to current guidelines. Failure to do so means non-compliance. Environmental Safety Officers can then choose to have the restaurant fined or closed down in some cases.

What is the Food Standards Agency?

The Food Standards Agency is the regulatory department that ensures the protection of public health in relation to food. Following Environmental Health inspectors, a restaurant will be given a rating as part of the food hygiene rating scheme that has been deployed by the Food Standards Agency for all food businesses.

Where Do You Find Food Ratings?

Ratings are available at the business premises and online. This tells potential customers what level of standards the restaurant has met on a scale of 1-5 stars regarding the hygiene of the premises in regard to meeting certain criteria. A restaurant requires planning permission under UK laws. Therefore, if the building where the restaurant is going to be used for some other purpose previously then the intended use of the building must be changed. This can be done through an application for planning permission.

What Is A Premises Licence?

A business like a restaurant or a bar that sells alcohol will require a premises licence. This will cover:

  • Selling alcohol.
  • Serving hot food and drinks (11 pm-5 am).
  • Providing entertainment such as sporting events, live music and recorded music.

What Are The Stipulations of a Premises Licence?

The stipulations of acquiring this licence are that the holder is over the age of 18 and provide details of a designated premises supervisor. This is anyone with a personal licence to sell alcohol. If alcohol is an occasional sale rather than part of daily sales, you can apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). This will allow a business to sell alcohol and also provide:

  • Live music.
  • Dancing.
  • Sporting events.
  • Hot food and drink between the hours of 11 pm-5 pm.

However, a TEN’s licence only allows for up to 5 events per year that are allocated. If there is a personal licence holder this is extended up to 50 of these events.

What Other Types of Licences May We Need?

TV licence is something that is optional for a business and is necessary if a business decided to use screens for viewing purposes. A restaurant that plays recorded music must have a music licence, this is true from customer areas and back of the house. This licence is called a PPL PRD and ensure that the owners and performers of the copyrighted music are reimbursed for use of their music. Therefore, the licence is costed on the size of the restaurant and the number of people that are employed. The licence can be applied for through the PPL PRS website. A licence to distribute leaflets/flyers is also a licence that may be required if you want to display or distribute:

  • Free newspapers.
  • Local business flyer.
  • Other printed material.

Failure to get a licence for this means the business risks a fine of up to £2500. We write Health and Safety policies for all company types in the UK. Please contact us if you would like any more information or a no obligation quote.


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