Register as a food business

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Businesses that store, or prepare, or distribute or sell food or drink need to be registered with the local authority.

This is required by law (Reg (EC) No.852/2004 Art 6(2)

Registration is free.

How to register

You can register online and also find out more information:

Who needs to register? Click to get info

Anyone starting a food business or taking over an existing food business must register with our Food Safety Team at least 28 days before opening a new food business or taking over an existing food business. This applies whether the business is for profit or not and whether it is public or private.

Examples of food businesses that need to register are:

  • restaurants, cafes, hotels, guest houses, luncheon clubs, home caterers, caterers for outside events
  • shops and supermarkets
  • warehouses distributing food or drink
  • market stalls and mobile food units/vehicles

Food businesses that need approval

Certain types of businesses will need to be approved before they begin operating. These are businesses producing:

  • meat products and meat preparations
  • egg products
  • milk and milk products
  • fish and fish products.

You should contact us or fill in the request food business advice online form if you think your business may need approval.

When can I begin trading? Click to get info

You can begin trading when your application to register has been received by the Food Safety Team. If you want to manufacture certain types of food or packed food, you may need to be approved to obtain an identification mark.

We will enter the details on our public register. The register contains the name of the food business operator, the name of the business, the address of the business and the type of food business. Records of the other information provided in the application will not be publicly available, subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Act 1998.

Changes in circumstances Click to get info

Fill the ‘apply to change a food premises registration’ form if you’ve registered and:

  • you’re no longer the owner of the business
  • there’s a change of ownership of the business (new owner will have to register)
  • the nature of the business changes and new food activities are carried on by the business
  • there’s a change of the address at which a mobile food unit or vehicle is kept

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

The register is updated every six months.

Contact Click to get info

Food Safety

Environmental Health and Trading Standards,
Sycamore House,
Forest Road 
Walthamstow 
E17 4SU 
020 8496 3000 
wfdirect@walthamforest.gov.uk