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Information for Food Businesses

Starting a food business



Ensure the premises which you intend operating from have the necessary planning consent.

If you are carrying out structural works to the premises you may need building regulations approval.


You must ensure your premises are registered with Rushcliffe Borough Council 28 days before opening. Registration is a simple process and there is no charge to register premises. Registration does not need to be renewed periodically and local authorities cannot refuse to register premises. If you are operating a mobile food business the vehicle must be registered with the Council of the borough where it is stored overnight.

Complete a food premises registration form and send it to: Environmental Health, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7YG. You can apply online to register your food business

Most food businesses will only require registration. However, if you are operating a business producing and/or supplying products of animal origin to other food businesses, you may be required to apply for approval to use your establishment for that purpose. Apply online for a licence or fill in the approval of a food business form. Products of animal origin include meat products, fishery products, minced meat, meat preparations etc.

  • If you cook meat pies in your premises and only sell them to members of the public you will not require approval
  • If you cook meat pies and only sell them to other businesses such as restaurants, shops etc, then you would require approval
  • If you cook meat pies and supply members of the public and food businesses, you may require approval. If approval is required, you will have to adhere to additional requirements with regard to structure, layout, health marking etc. This is a complicated area of food law and each case needs to be looked at individually. Please contact us to discuss your operation if you think approval may be required.

Exemption is also granted to premises used only by businesses already registered or licensed under certain schemes connected with food legislation and businesses that pose a very low risk to health. For a complete list of exemptions, please contact us. The only changes about registered premises which must be notified to the local authority are a change of proprietor or a change in the nature of the business.  Although premises may be exempt from registration this does not mean that they are exempt from the provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990, nor does it mean that they do not need to comply with food hygiene legislation.

Safer Food Better Business

The Safer Food, Better Business pack has been developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help small catering businesses (eg  restaurants, cafes and takeaways) comply with hygiene regulations that were brought in from 1 January 2006.

The pack is no longer free. It can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website. We can provide a black and white copy, please check our fees and charges information for costs.

Once you have demonstrated your safe methods to ensure food safety, daily checks recorded in the diary supplied in the pack should only take a few minutes each day. Your business and customers will benefit from this valuable food safety approach.

The government has issues guidance for food businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Please see the below links. 

Food safety for delivery

Food safety for community cooking and food banks 

Bulk freezing of ambient and chilled foods

Food Safety Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly asked questions for food businesses.

Do I need to register my food business?

Yes. You are required by law to register a premises used for a food business at least 28 days before opening, (including markets, stalls, delivery vehicles and other movable structures). We keep a list of all food premises in Rushcliffe so we can visit them when we need to. The frequency of the visits depends on the type of premises.

Do I have to pay to register my food business?

No. The registration cannot be refused and there is no charge. Apply online or complete a Food premises registration form and send it to:

Protection and Safety Department, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7YG.

Do I need to be trained to work in a food business?

It is a legal requirement for the food business operator to ensure that food handlers are supervised, instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters associated with their work activities.

A food handler is any person involved in a food business that handles or prepares food (open or packaged).

The level of training depends on the job of the individual and the type of food they handle. Find out more about training courses that Rushcliffe Borough Council runs.

Do I need to do refresher training courses?

No, but we do recommend that you refresh your training every three years. This will help you keep up-to-date with legislative changes which may affect the way you work.

How often should I expect to get a visit from an Environmental Health Officer?

Once we have received your registration form we will aim to visit you within one month to carry out a food safety inspection. Premises which pose a higher risk to the consumer will then be inspected more frequently than those premises presenting a lower risk. The inspection frequency could be between six months and five years.

Additional visits may be made between routine inspections in response to suspected food poisoning allegations, routine sampling or food business complaints.

What food safety legislation do I need to know?

The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 and Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004

Food prepared in a food business to be sold should be free from contamination and of the nature, substance and quality demanded and shall be fit for human consumption.

Food is classed as being for sale if it is anywhere within the food premises and is intended for human consumption by being sold, offered as a prize, a reward, or given away as part of promotional advertising or on a charity basis.

The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 set out specifically the standards of food safety and hygiene you are expected to comply with in your food business.

Do I need to make a record of temperature checks?

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 states you are required to keep a record of your critical control point monitoring. You should bear in mind that should an offence be committed and action be taken, you may have a defence of 'due diligence'. Written records may be invaluable in establishing that defence.

Do food handlers have to wear gloves?

It is not a requirement to wear gloves whilst handling food. However, gloves may be worn as a form of protective clothing but it is important to ensure that gloves are kept clean and are regularly changed after handling raw products and before handling ready to eat products to prevent the risk of cross contamination.

If gloves are not worn, hands must be kept clean, wounds must be covered and jewellery (sleepers and a plain wedding band are acceptable) and false nails should not be worn.

Do food handlers need to wear hats and hairnets?

It is important for you to control the risk of food contamination. Hair should therefore be kept clean and long hair must be tied back whilst handling open food. It is good practice for food handlers to cover their hair with a hat and/or a hairnet.

Do I have to register my mobile food vehicle with the council in whose area I trade within?

No. A mobile food vehicle must be registered with the local authority for the area where your vehicle is stored overnight.


Arrangements will need to be made for the collection of your trade waste.

Assured Regulatory Business Advice

If you require advice and support on the regulatory requirements for your business then ARBA can help you achieve your obligations.

The team of qualified and experienced trading standards and environmental health professionals are blended from two local authorities can bring your business commercial awareness that allows you to manage risk confidently.

Visit for more information.



Do it online

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