The law requires some types of food business premises handling or processing certain products of animal origin to be approved by the environmental health service before starting to operate. Products of animal origin include meat, poultry, fish, eggs and milk.

The food business operator must apply to the environmental health service for approval. The environmental health service will check whether the premises comply with the hygiene regulations. If it does the premises will be approved and will be given an identification number which must be attached to the products produced at the premises. (Most caterers and retailers handling products of animal origin will not require approval. The environmental health service can provide further advice and information.)

Apply for food premises approval

Eligibility criteria

The environmental health service will check that the premises require approval and that it complies with the hygiene regulations (Regulation (EC) 852/2004 and Regulation (EC) 853/2004). The environmental health service can either: grant approval to the premises; refuse to approve the premises; or grant conditional approval to the premises.

Application evaluation process

The environmental health service will check that the application form is properly completed and that the premises do require approval. The environmental health service will inspect the premises and examine the food safety management systems to the followed by the business. If the premises and procedures comply with the food hygiene regulations, the premises will be approved. If the premises and the food safety management systems do not comply with the hygiene regulations, the environmental health service may either refuse to approve the premises or may grant a conditional approval. Premises which receive approval or conditional approval from the environmental health service will be given an identification number which must be attached to the products produced at the premises.

Will tacit consent apply?     

No. Premises requiring approval from the environmental health service handle or process products of animal origin. The approval process is intended to ensure that these food products are safe to eat. Tacit consent will not apply as this may compromise public health by allowing premises which do not comply with the hygiene regulations to place food on the market. 

Failed application redress

The environmental health service will notify the food business operator in writing if approval of a premises is refused. The food business operator may appeal against the decision of the environmental health service to approve premises. The appeal is made by the food business operator to the West Hampshire Magistrates' Court.