Choose the right premises:
Before starting you must Choose the right premises
- Check that you have the right planning permission
- Check whether any licences are needed 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 animal products, are subject to specific regulations and need to be approved instead. If you aren't sure whether you need to register or apply for approval, please contact the Council.
The Food Standards Agency website has more information on who needs to register.
Make sure that members of staff that handle food are trained in food hygiene and safety, including allergens, before they start work.
- Make sure that staff follow your rules to keep food safe, including how to stop food being contaminated which could make customers ill.
- Have a written food safety management system in place based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles. You can develop your own document, 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 £13, Retailers pack £11, 12 month's of diary sheets £10, all prices included postage)
- MyHACCP - for small food manufacturing businesses
- Follow the allergen information rules.
- Make sure food is correctly labelled (dealt with by Kent Trading Standards)
The Council is responsible for checking that food safety laws are being followed. 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 most businesses will be issued with a Food Hygiene Rating, which can be found 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
Mobile food venders and street trading
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