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Summary; what the law requires

Certain type of food premises, generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as dairies, meat product manufacturers or fish processors, are subject to product-specific regulations (Regulation (EC) 853/2004). If you make, prepare or handle food of animal origin for supply to other businesses, your business and its activities you must be approved by a Local Authority. All products produced in an Approved premises must display a Health Mark or be accompanied by an appropriate Health Certificate.

Application and evaluation process

To obtain approval strict hygiene standards, both structurally and procedurally are required. Approval will not be given unless the required standards are met before any food is sold for consumption. The standards are defined in Regulation (EC) 853/2004.

What sort of premises need to be approved?

The law is complicated and if you are in any doubt whether you need to be approved or not. Try using an approval determinator to see if you need approval. Alternatively, contact us to discuss what you are planning.

How do I apply for approval of my food business?

Please download and complete the appropriate Word or PDF version of the application form first from the options below. Once done, submit your completed application form and other relevant documentation.


There are some exemptions from the requirement to be approved, including if you supply food of animal origin to the final consumer only that is to the ultimate consumer who will not use the food in the course of any food business or activity.

Additionally there may be an exemption available depending on the extent to which you wish to supply food of animal origin to other businesses, and you should contact Food and Occupational Safety to determine whether or not you could claim such an exemption from the need for approval.

If a food business is exempted from the requirement to be approved, it must be Registered with the Local Authority at least 28 days before the business opens or within 28 days of taking over an existing food business. Failure to Register a food business or notify significant changes is an offence under the Food Regulations. More information on registration and the form to ally for registration online is available on the Registration of a Food Business Establishment web page.

Applicant’s right of appeal

Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Council to refuse to grant an approval, may appeal against that decision to a Magistrates Court. The time limit for lodging an appeal is one month from the date on which this notice was served on you. You may wish to consult a legal adviser about the implications of this notice and your right of appeal against this Food Authority’s decision on your application.

Public Register

Once approved, details of the premises together with information relating to types of foods produced are forwarded to the Food Standards Agency to be kept on a central EU register.

At present we do not publish our register of food premises online. However, most registered food businesses appear on our hygiene rating information or "scores on the doors" pages. We hope to publish our register in the near future however, if you have any questions, please contact us using the details below.

Can I start trading before receiving my Approval (i.e. will tacit consent apply)?

You cannot start trading before receiving an Approval (i.e. tacit consent does not apply). You must not commence any business activity which requires Approval unless you have received conditional or full approval for your proposed activity from the Local Authority. If you start trading without Approval it is an offence which may lead to prosecution.

Please note approval will only apply once a full application has been submitted and you have received an acknowledgment from Dudley Council.

How long will it take to process an Approval?

We aim to process your Approval within 28 days of receiving a successfully completed application together with with all supporting information and documentation as requested in the application form.

How can I make a complain about an item of food I have bought?

Have a look at our food complaint web pages and you can report your concerns online.

If I am not satisfied with the service I have received from the Council about a registration, how do I complain?

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.

Where can I get more information?

The Food Standards Agency has useful information on it's website. For further information please contact us using the details below.

Fee Information

Useful Information

Contact Details

Food and Consumer Safety, People Directorate, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1HL

Telephone 0300 555 2345

Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, offices closed weekends and Bank Holidays