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Starting a food business

This information is for people starting a food business, whether taking over a business that already exists or starting a new one.  You should also consult and the following leaflets produced by the Food Standards Agency:-

Registration / Approval Of Food Businesses

If you are planning to start a new food business, or taking over an existing food business, it is a legal requirement to register your premises with Environmental Health at least 28 days before opening by completing one of the following forms:

This applies to most types of food business, including those operated from home, and mobile or temporary premises such as stalls and vans.  If you use two or more premises, you will need to register all of them.  After this form has been submitted, food business operators must notify any significant change in activities to the local authority, and should do so within 28 days of the change(s) happening.

If you intend to manufacture or handle products of animal origin (e.g. slicing and re-wrapping) for sale onto other businesses, your premises may have to be approved instead.  If this is the case, it is an offence to operate without approval.  We would recommend that you contact Environmental Health for further information.


You must make sure that any member of staff who handles food is supervised and instructed and / or trained in food hygiene in a way that is appropriate for the work they do.  There is no legal requirement to attend a formal training course or get a qualification, although many businesses find it an effective way to train staff.  Please note that the Basic / Foundation Certificate is now called the Level 2 Award in Food Safety.  You can find more information here: .  Local training providers can be found at the following link: .  Environmental Health do not run food hygiene training.

Food Safety Management Procedures

You must put in place ‘food safety management procedures’ and keep up-to-date records relating to your procedures.  The following Food Standards Agency resources can help you put these procedures in place:

‘Safer food, better business’ (SFBB) helps small food businesses and childminders put in place food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations. There are also versions for retailers and different cuisines.  Visit

to find out more.  

MyHACCP online tool for small food manufacturing businesses – the tool can be used to guide food businesses through the process of identifying food safety hazards and controls and the production of a documented food safety management system based on HACCP principles.  You can access MyHACCP at .

The person (or people) responsible for developing and maintaining your business’s food safety management procedures must have received adequate training to enable them to do this.

Cross Contamination /E.coli Guidance

If you handle both raw and cooked / ready-to-eat food you need to consider procedures to control harmful bacteria:


You must keep written records of all the suppliers that provide you with food or any food ingredients.  The records should include the name and address of the supplier, the type and quantity of products and the dates when you take delivery.  If you supply food to another business, you also need to keep records containing the same details.


Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

If you serve or supply food direct to the public, you may be covered by the scheme:


Planning Permission

Make sure that the premises where you want to operate has the correct planning approval for the type of food business you intend to open by checking with our Planning department: .


If you want to place tables and chairs outside your premises on a public pavement, you will need to apply for a street cafe licence.  Licences are also required for the sale and supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment, and the provision of late night refreshment (that is the sale of hot food or drink at any time between 11pm – 5am).  You should also find out whether you need a street trading licence / consent if you want to sell food from a stall or van on the street.  See the following link for more information: .

Labelling and Trading Standards

Trading Standards can provide important advice on labelling food and other trading standards issues: .


All businesses are required to have proper arrangements for the collection of their trade refuse. Collection can only be carried out by a person legally authorised to do so.  Walsall Council offers a refuse and recycling collection to business premises within the borough: . Alternatively you can engage the services of a private contractor.

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Contact us

Environmental Health
Civic Centre
Darwall Street

Telephone 01922 653010