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Food registration and approval

The law requires either the registration or approval of all food businesses.

To store, prepare, distribute or sell food, you need to be registered as a food business with your local authority 28 days prior to opening. 

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However, your food business may require premises approval instead of registration if you produce products of animal origin (meat, fish, dairy or eggs), and supply these to other food business establishments. Such premises must not operate until approval has been granted.

If you are uncertain whether your business needs to be approved contact us for advice using the details shown on this page.

The main purpose of the registration process is to let the Public Protection Service know where premises are and what type of business is being operated. In this way we can ensure that every premise receives an inspection and resources can be allocated and targeted in the appropriate areas.

When do I need to register?

Anyone starting a new food business must register at least 28 days before opening. It is an offence to fail to register a food business. Please contact the Public Protection Service for advice.

How do I register a food business?

Food premise registration is free of charge and cannot be refused therefore you can continue with your business as soon as you have submitted your registration form. However, we would recommend that you contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can advise you how to meet the required standards.

Apply online for food premises registration


Public Register

Please note that some details of food premises registrations are held on a Public Register which is available at council offices. For further information please contact the Public Protection Service.


Do you need help to get your business off the ground?

Business Regulatory Support offers advice and guidance to help you meet the regulations you need and get the licences relevant to your business.

Find out about business regulations and licences

Further information

Remember if you are running a food business on a commercial basis (this also includes businesses which are not for profit making) you are required to comply with the Food Hygiene Regulations.

You can access additional information on food safety issues on the Food Standards Agency website.

Certain types 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. You can also download and complete the application for food premises approval form.

How do I apply for approval?

The application process is free of charge.

Following receipt of an application a member of the Public Protection Service will assess the application and normally visit the premise to validate the information provided and make a decision as to whether approval can be granted. We would strongly advise you to contact us for advice prior to starting the application process.

Apply online for food premises approval

Tacit consent

Consent must be given in writing before you can operate a business which requires approval. The Public Protection Team must process and approve your application before you can operate. It is an offence to operate a business which is subject to approval under Regulation (EC) 853/2004.

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.

Complaints procedure

If you have any complaints or concerns about the service you have received or the information provided then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0300 1234 212 and ask to speak to an officer from the Public Protection team who deal with food hygiene enquires. Alternatively you can email your concerns to

Public Register

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

Further information

If you require further information or wish to discuss the possibility of approval, contact the Public Protection Service by telephoning 0300 1234 212 or by email

Public Protection 
Cornwall Council,
Unit 6,
Threemilestone Industrial Estate,
Cornwall, TR4 9LD

Alternatively you can visit the Food standards Agency website for advice on food safety issues including Approval.