Approved food establishment

If your activities involved the slaughter, cutting and packing of raw fresh meat you should contact the Food Standards Agency who are the competent enforcement authority in those cases.

If you intend to manufacture, process, produce or handle products of animal origin such as fish or fish products, shellfish, meat products, minced meat and meat preparations, dairy products or egg products and supply these products to other food businesses your operations may require to be approved by our Environmental Health Service who is the approving competent authority.

The activities carried out in approved establishments are more strictly governed and require a higher standard of structure and operating procedures.

Before you apply for food establishment approval you need to contact us to discuss all proposals in respect of the premises, infrastructure, equipment and operational activities.

Telling us about any changes

When approval is granted a Notification of Approval is issued listing the specific activities which the establishment is approved to carry out as well as the specific species of product of animal origin the establishment is approved to handle.

If the business changes hands, or is altered in any way, or you want to make additional products, you must let us know as you might need further approval.


There is no fee for the application for approval of food establishment.

How to apply

You can apply for approval of food establishment online or in paper.

View Environmental Health privacy notices.

Supporting documentation

We will need your application form to include supporting information and documentation. Without them we won't be able to process your application.

You will be required to supply the following details and descriptions in respect to the (proposed) establishment:

  • scale plan showing the location of rooms and other areas to be used for the storage and processing of raw materials, product and waste, and the layout of facilities and equipment
  • food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles
  • establishment and equipment maintenance arrangements
  • establishment, equipment and transport cleaning arrangements
  • waste collection and disposal arrangements
  • water supply
  • water supply quality testing arrangements
  • arrangements for product testing
  • pest control arrangements
  • monitoring arrangements for staff health
  • staff hygiene training arrangements
  • arrangements for record keeping
  • arrangements for applying the identification mark to product packaging or wrapping

Apply online

You can submit online application for approval of food establishment on GOV.UK website:

Apply in paper

To apply in paper complete approved food establishment application form (pdf 76.1 KB) form and send it to our Environmental Health team.

Application process

Full approval will not be granted until the required information and documentation has been provided, examined and deemed satisfactory.

An onsite initial inspection will be carried out as soon after first contact has been made to assess the application in principle. Then a final inspection will be carried out to ascertain whether full approval may be granted.

The establishment will not be allowed to operate until a formal Notification of Approval has been issued to the food business operator.

Our Environmental Health Service has an agreed Standard Operating Procedure that all new applications for approval are processed and dealt with by two Authorised Officers.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent won't apply. This means that you cannot assume that the application has been approved if you do not hear from us by the end of the target completion period. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.

Refused applications

If your application is refused you can appeal to the local Sheriff. Please contact us before you lodge an appeal.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint against a trader the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK please contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Contact details

Specialist Officer (Food and Communicable Disease)
Planning and Environmental Service
Gordon House
Blackhall Road
AB51 3WA
Telephone: 01467 539044

Help us improve