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Approval summary

Richmond Council is required to inspect and grant permission for certain premises that handle, process and manufacture products of animal origin such as meat, dairy, egg or fish. This process is referred to as the 'approval' process. Operators running such establishments must submit an application for approval before starting production.

However, approval is usually only required for premises that manufacture products of animal origin or those who sell such products to other food businesses. Most food businesses (including caterers and retailers) will need to be registered rather than approved. If you are in any doubt as to whether you need to be registered or approved please contact us directly.


The premises are approved under

  • The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006
  • Regulation EC No 853/2004
  • Regulation EC No 854/2004
  • Regulation EC No 852/2004

Food premises approved under these regulations must meet additional requirements above the general requirements for food premises as they involve more high risk operations. This includes a detailed HACCP plan to ensure the food business operator is controlling risks at critical points. Additional paperwork regarding hygiene and safety of the food being processed will also need to be sent with the application form.

Food businesses must not commence any business activity which requires approval, unless they have received conditional or full approval for the proposed activity from the food safety team. To commence business without approval is an offence for which the business is likely to be prosecuted.

Eligibility Criteria

If a food business is handling, making and processing any of the products listed below, you may need approval - food of animal origin includes:

  • Meat and poultry - whether fresh, frozen or cooked
  • Meat products such as pies, sausage rolls, faggots, black pudding and bacon
  • Raw or partially cooked minced meat or meat preparations such as sausages, burgers, marinated raw meat and kebab meat
  • Fish and fish products such as fish fingers, prawns, lobsters, crabs and crayfish - whether dead or alive
  • Live bivalve molluscs
  • Ready meals containing fish or meat
  • Milk and dairy products such as butter, cream, cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream, etc.
  • Frogs legs and snails
  • Rendered animal fats and other animal by products such as gelatine, collagen, stomachs, bladders and intestines
  • Honey and blood.

Some premises may be exempt from being approved, details can be found in Food Law Practice Guidance (England) and are based on the premises being retail or supplying other retailers on a marginal, localised and restricted basis (see page 108 of Practice Guidance). In addition, exemptions from include the supply of food of animal origin to the final consumer, i.e. the person who buys the products, eats the food, the business is exempt. This business would then need to be registered as a food business with the council. See our other webpage for Food Premises Registration application form.

Additionally there may be an exemption available depending on the extent to which the business wishes to supply food of animal origin to other businesses.

Application Evaluation Process

Once your application is received with all the relevant paperwork for the application, an officer will contact you within 14 days. They will make arrangements to carry out an inspection of your premises. The purpose of the inspection is to ensure the premises meet the standards required for approved premises and to ensure your documentation is correct.

We will write to you within 28 days to tell you if the premises have been approved. We can grant you full or conditional approval.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. The approval of your food business will only be issued to you when we have completed the inspection of the business and reviewed the paperwork associated with the business and we are satisfied that all the legal requirements have been met.

Make an application

Apply online

You can apply online for the approval of your business. You will need to provide all the relevant documentation to accompany your approval application form at the same time. These documents are shown in Part 8 of the application form namely:

  • A detailed scale plan of the (proposed) establishment showing the location of rooms and other areas to be used for the storage and processing of raw materials, product and waste, and the layout of facilities and equipment and;
  • A description of the (proposed):
    • Food safety management system based on HACCP principles
    • Establishment and equipment maintenance arrangements
    • Establishment, equipment, and transport cleaning arrangements
    • Waste collection and disposal arrangements
    • Water supply
    • Water supply quality testing arrangements
    • Arrangements for product testing
    • Pest control arrangements
    • Monitoring arrangements for staff health
    • Staff hygiene training arrangements
    • Arrangements for record keeping
    • Arrangements for applying the identification mark to product packaging or wrapping.

It is an offence to give information which you know is false.

Apply for Food Premises Approval Apply to change an existing Approved Premises

Apply by post/in person

If you prefer to apply by post or in person the form can be downloaded and once completed sent or brought to us at our Commercial Environmental Health address.

Apply by post(pdf, 45KB)

Failed application redress

In the event of the application being refused you will be notified of the reasons in writing and the matters necessary to satisfy approval requirements. You will also be advised of your right of appeal to the Magistrates Court.

Applicant redress

Any food business operator who objects to any of the requirements requested before approval is granted should speak to the officer who completed the inspection. The food business operator also has the right to appeal to the local Magistrates Court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise in the first instance that in the event of a complaint about a food business or the food they have produced, you make contact with the food business operator. If you are not satisfied with their response please contact Food and Safety.


Contact Food and Safety

If you have any questions or would like any advice, please contact us:

Food and Safety
Regulatory Services Partnership
2nd Floor Merton Civic Offices
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 3025

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

EUGO - Part of the EUGO network

Updated: 04 October 2022

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