Advice For New Food Businesses
This page gives advice to people wishing to start up a new food business. Whether you are starting a new food business or taking over an existing business, it is important that you get things right from the beginning as this will make running your business much easier in the future.
There are several guides produced by the Food Standards Agency which may help you set up your business - see the attached files section below).
Our Food Safety Officers can provide general advice however some food business operators may need specific advice depending on the business activity, in such situations we recommend you employ a specialist so that any potential issues can be addressed before you start trading and incur any unnecessary costs.
- Food Registration
- Approved premises
- Food Safety Management Systems
- Food Safety Leaflets in various languages
- Food hygiene training
- Child minders and food safety
- Planning Permission
- Imported food control
- Trading Standards
- Street trading and mobile vans
- Smoke free requirements
- Contact Details
You will need to register your new food business with us. Registration applies to most types of food businesses, including head offices where no food is stored/prepared/sold, home caterers and temporary premises, such as stalls and mobile vans. Registration is free and businesses must register at least 28 days before opening. Please do not register unless you are sure that your business will be opening within 28 days of your application.
- For further details on how to register see our Food Business Registration page
Certain food businesses must be approved by us before they are able to produce and sell foods of animal origin.
These products include:
- meat products
- minced meat and meat preparations (such as sausages)
- milk and dairy products
- fish and fish products
- egg products
If you need to be approved, you do not have to register as well.
- Please see our Approval of Food Premises page
You must keep documents to show that you are producing safe food. It is a legal requirement that all food businesses operate a documented food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP.
HACCP stands for 'Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point'. It is an internationally recognised and recommended system of food safety management. It focuses on identifying the 'critical points' in a process where food safety problems (or 'hazards') could arise and putting steps in place to prevent things going wrong. This is sometimes referred to as 'controlling hazards'.
The Commercial Environmental Health Team recommends the Food Standard Agency pack known as Safer Food Better Business (SFBB). The pack helps you to develop a food safety management system suited to your own catering or retail operation.
- Download the Safer Food Better Business pack (PDF, 12MB)
There are a variety of SFBB packs available which are designed to meet the specific needs of different food businesses. There are packs for small catering businesses, restaurants and for takeaways that serve different cuisines (such as Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan).
An interactive DVD training video with voiceovers in 16 languages and English subtitles is also available from the Food Standards Agency. You can also view online at SFBB Interactive Video (external link).
- For a copy please call 0845 606 0667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For English Versions of the leaflets below - Please visit our Registration of a Food Premises Page
As a food business operator handling open high risk food, the law requires you are trained, instructed and/or supervised in line with your food operating activities. The usual way for food handlers to be trained is to gain a Level 2 Award in food safety and catering. Food Business Operators should also have adequate training in order to implement a food safety management system.
- More details on Food hygiene training are available on our Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering page
If you are planning to start up a childminder business that provides food as part of your service, you do not need to register separately as a food business with your local authority as this will happen automatically when you register with Ofsted. Once we receive your registration you will be contacted or visited by officers from Commercial Environmental Health who will give advice about complying with food law.
- See the Food Standard Agency’s Childminding page (external link) for more information
Not all premises may be suitable for the type of business you want to run.
It is worth remembering that changing the use of existing premises or the erection of additional facilities may require prior approval under Town and Country Planning Acts and/or Building Regulations.
If you import food commercially you need to know about the regulations that apply to the types of food you deal with.
Further information can be found on the Food Standards Agency's Imported Food page (external link).
For advice on laws relating to consumer protection, see Haringey Trading Standards page.
Haringey Council does not issue street trading licenses in respect of mobile catering vans, or ice cream sales (except at approved street festivals). You will not be allowed to trade on the public highway.
You can however trade on private land once written permission has been obtained from the landowner. If this is the case, you will have to be situated at least seven metres away from the nearest footpath or roadway.
- See our Street Trading page or call us on 020 8489 1000 for further information
Since 2007, the UK is Smoke Free. Restrictions are in place on smoking in public places. For further information, please visit out Smoke Free England page.
Commercial Environmental Health
Level 1 North - River Park House
225 High Road
Tel 020 8489 1335
For general enquiries, please use our web form: