Generally, those food businesses who manufacture meat, dairy, fish or egg products and who supply to other premises (even premises within their own ownership) as a significant part of their overall business will require formal approval instead of food premises registration.
The approval of food premises of this type is to ensure that additional requirements above the general requirements for food premises are met, as premises of this type often involve more high risk operations.
Why do I have to apply for approval?
Approval of product specific establishments is required by law under the Food Hygiene (NI) Regulations 2006 and other European Commission regulations, including Regulation EC 853/2004 on the specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.
Who must apply for approval?
The food business operator must apply for approval with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. The food business owner is the person who is legally responsible for making sure that the business meets the food safety requirements.
All food premises producing products of animal origin are required to be approved unless exempted.
Currently, exempted food premises businesses are generally food retail businesses selling directly to the public and to other businesses that supply the final customer such as caterers, pubs, restaurants and other retailers.
The conditions for exemption are defined as when activities are marginal, localised and restricted. These terms are generally defined as:
- Marginal: described as being only a small part of the establishments business and is generally taken to be up to a quarter of the business in terms of food and, in relation to fresh or processed meat means, up to two tonnes per week.
- Localised: in the immediate vicinity; usually this means within 30 miles of the county boundary in which the business is located.
- Restricted: products of animal origin such as meat, dairy, egg or fish, but not products such as wild game and wild game meat.
Note: that rules concerning temperature controls, storage or transport still apply to exempted businesses.
Application Evaluation Process - Premises Visit
The application must be supported by certain food safety processing information. Once we receive the application, an Officer from the Food Safety team will arrange to visit the premises to obtain full details of the processing intended. Approval may at this stage be granted either fully or conditionally for three months.
Where a Conditional Approval is granted the business will be informed in writing about the terms of the Conditional Approval. If at the end of the three months the business has complied with the terms of the Conditional Approval then the food team will make a further visit, whereupon either Full Approval is granted, a further three months Conditional Approval applied or Approval Refused. At all stages, the business can expect to be kept fully informed as to the status of the Approval application. Where Approval is either refused or conditional then the business also has certain rights of appeal.
Those premises whice receive Full Approval will be allocated a unique identification mark (an oval mark) which should then be applied to labelling or packaging on products. The Approval will be notified to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) who maintains a national database of all Approved premises.
Target Completion Period
We will process your application as quickly as possible and, in any event, within the following timescales:
Application for Food Premises Approval – 90 Calendar Days
Application to change a Food Premises Approval – 90 Calendar Days
National Federation of Meat and Food Traders
National Association of Catering Butchers (NACB)
Food Standards Agency (FSA) Website
Standard Application Form
Food Hygiene Regulations (N.I.) 2006
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
No, Tacit Consent does not apply. It is in the public interest that the local authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council within a reasonable period, please contact us.
Cost of Registration
There is no cost involved for the application or approval. Generally, the approval is a one-off procedure.