Starting and Running a Food Business
Choose the right premises
Before starting you must Choose the right premises
- Check that you have the appropriate planning permission
- Check whether any licences are required eg: businesses supplying alcohol, entertainment or late night refreshment
- Council tenants - apply to run a business from home
Register your business
When you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register at least 28 days before opening. Certain types of food premises, generally manufacturers using products of animal origin, are subject to specific regulations and need to be approved instead.
The Food Standards Agency website provides more information on who needs to register.
Make sure that members of staff that handle food are properly trained in food hygiene and safety, including allergens, before they start work.
- Book a food safety course PDF, 237.11 KB
- Free online allergen training
- Introduce ways of working that will ensure good food hygiene, including preventing cross contamination
- Have a written food safety management system in place based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles. You can develop your own procedures, or use the tools produced by the Food Standards Agency
- 'Safer Food, Better Business' - for small caterers and retailers (these packs are free to download from the Food Standards Agency website or can be purchased from us by calling 01322 343434, Caterer's pack £12, Retailers pack £11, 12 month's of diary sheets £7, all prices included postage)
- MyHACCP - for small food manufacturing businesses
- Follow the allergen information rules.
- Ensure food is correctly labelled (dealt with by Kent Trading Standards)
The Council is responsible for enforcing food hygiene laws. Authorised Officers have the right to enter and inspect your premises at any reasonable time, usually without making an appointment.
To help prepare for your food safety inspection use the food safety checklist.
Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
Following a food safety inspection the majority of businesses will be issued with a Food Hygiene Rating, which is published on the Food Standards Agency website. A toolkit is available to help businesses promote their rating. There is an option for businesses to improve their rating by applying for a re-rating inspection which costs £200 for each visit.
Subscribe to news and alerts from the Food Standards Agency
Industry guides to good food hygiene
Food Standards Agency - Starting a food business from home
Guidance for mobile traders (CIEH)
Distance selling, mail order and food delivery
Better Business for All
Providing food at community and charity events
For any further enquiries Contact the Food Safety Team or call 01322 343434