Food premises registration and inspections

All food businesses within South Norfolk are legally required to be registered with us.

Once registered, we offer advice and guidance to the business in relation to food safety and hygiene. We also visit the business to undertake an inspection to identify how safely food is being prepared and produced. The frequency of visits by officers will depend on the type of business along with their practices and procedures.

If you run a food business, you must tell us about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Cafes
  • Shops
  • Supermarkets
  • Staff canteens
  • Kitchens in offices
  • Warehouses
  • Guest houses
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Buffet cars on trains
  • Food brokers
  • Market and other stalls
  • Food businesses run from domestic dwellings
  • Mobile caterers such as burger or ice cream vans.

If you use vehicles for your food business, in connection with permanent premises such as a shop or warehouse, you only need to tell us how many vehicles you have. If you have one or more vehicles, but no permanent premises, you must let us know where they are normally kept.

The majority of businesses need to be registered. However, premises which are already registered for food law purposes, certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents and marquees (but not stalls) do not need to be registered. If you think you may be exempt please contact us.

You will need to fill in the food premises registration form and return it at least 28 days before you begin trading by email or by post to the Food and Safety Team, South Norfolk Council, South Norfolk House, Cygnet Court, Long Stratton, Norwich, NR15 2XE.

If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each council separately.

Some manufacturers handling products of animal origin may need an approval rather than a food business registration. This is undertaken by us or The Meat Hygiene Service (MHS).

If your business involves handling meat, fish, egg or dairy products, you must be inspected and approved. Due to the higher risk nature of the foods being produced, stricter hygiene criteria are placed upon the business.

Examples of food businesses that need approval are:

  • Businesses making meat based products to sell to other businesses, such as meat pies or salami
  • Grading of eggs from a flock of hens
  • Cheese makers
  • Cold stores.

You don’t need to be approved if you sell direct to the public or retailers like caterers, pubs and restaurants, as long as:

  • Food is less than 25% of your trade
  • You don’t handle any wild game meat products
  • You don’t sell food outside the county your business is registered in.

You must still follow the rules for controlling the temperature and storage of any food you transport.

If you are unsure whether you need to be approved or registered, please contact us

We will enter the details on our register which can be viewed by the general public. The register details the name of the business, the address, telephone number and the type of business which is carried out at the premises. Other information provided is not publicly available.

To request details of our food business public register, please contact us.

Once you have registered you will need to tell us if the nature of the business changes or if there is a change of proprietor. A new business proprietor will need to complete a new application form.

If we want to change your entry in the register because of information we receive from someone else, you will be given 28 days notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed change.

The national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) allows consumers to see how well a food business is complying with food hygiene regulations before they use their services.

We are responsible for inspecting food businesses within South Norfolk to make sure they meet legal requirements regarding food hygiene. Each outlet that meets the schemes criteria is given a rating from 0 (urgent improvement is necessary) to 5 (very good). A window sticker is given to the businesses which they are encouraged to display.

If you wish to see the scores for businesses within South Norfolk, as well as those nationally, you can view these on the Food Standards Agency website.