Food and drink producers are subject to significant amounts of legislation relating, for example, to registration of premises, food hygiene, food information, workplace health and safety, and waste disposal.

Professional legal advice should always be taken before making business decisions.

Food business registration

Food and drink producers must register their business premises with the environmental health department of the local authority in the area where they are located at least 28 days before they begin trading. This includes premises used for processing, producing, cooking, packaging and storing food or drink produce and ingredients, as well as vehicles that are used to collect and deliver food supplies.

See also: Keeping your food and drink (retail) business legal

Food premises where products of animal origin (such as meat, game and poultry) are handled or prepared may need to be ‘approved’ (rather than simply registered) if the business supplies mainly to trade customers (such as restaurants, caterers or retailers).

Go to for a guide to food business registration.

As part of the registration or approval process, food and drink producers must submit a written food safety management system, based on ‘hazard analysis critical control point’ (HACCP) principles. Go to to view an online tool provided by the Food Standards Agency to help small food manufacturers develop a system based on HACCP principles.

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