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Approved premises for meat, dairy, poultry, fish and egg products

Food establishments that produce, prepare or handle certain products of animal origin (raw meat, poultry, meat preparations, fish, shellfish, dairy and egg products) are required to meet additional food law that is contained in EC Regulation 853/2004.

In addition to general food law, these activities need to meet more specific requirements as they are generally higher risk in terms of food safety. Food businesses undertaking such activities are required to have prior approval (similar to licensing) before they start trading.

Foods that originate from approved premises throughout the EU are required to have an identification mark on the packaging. The identification mark has the country of origin and an approval number that is unique to the food establishment where the food was manufactured or packed and enables foods to be traced back to their origin throughout the EU.

Who needs approval?

If you produce and/or pack certain products of animal origin (meat, fish, shellfish, dairy, eggs) and supply these to other food businesses, you may require approval from the Council before you can start trading.

The following types of business will normally need approval:

  • food manufacturers producing products of animal origin
  • central production units supplying caterers or retailers
  • home caterers that produce products of animal origin and supply other food businesses
  • stand-alone cold stores
  • businesses that pack, wrap, re-pack or re-wrap products of animal origin

Businesses that only handle raw meat such as catering butchers and cutting plants are approved by the Food Standards Agency not the Council.

Businesses that supply directly to the public only, don’t need to be approved.

Businesses that supply both the public and other food businesses may require approval depending on the quantity of products of animal origin supplied to other businesses and whether that supply is localised.

If you think that your business may require approval, please contact us for more advice

What happens if you trade or carry out activities without approval?

It is against the law to start trading or carrying out activities which require approval before being approved. Food businesses that are subject to approval must obtain approval from the Council before they start trading or they can face prosecution, the closure of the business and condemnation of food.

Apply for approval

Further information on the requirements and process regarding approval along with an application form can be downloaded in our application pack:

Once an application form has been received, we’ll contact you to discuss your application and to arrange an assessment visit to your premises.

Page updated on: 25 June 2019

Food safety


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