Your food business may require approval if you intend to use "unprocessed products of animal origin" e.g. fresh meat, raw minced meat, raw milk, eggs to produce any, or a combination of the following:
If your food business requires approval there are a number of specific requirements to be followed and you cannot operate until your food operation has been approved by council.
If you are a retailer, or have a genuine retail element to your business (i.e. farm gate sales), and intend to supply other retailers or caterers you could be exempt from approval if the supply of the food of animal origin is "marginal and localised and restricted".
The approval process requires that you put in place procedures to manage food safety and that these procedures be based upon hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) principles. These principles are:
Your food safety management system can be tailored to fit your business and should be simple and appropriate to the scale and type of production you intend to carry out.
Prior to implementing your documented system a prerequisite programme should be in place which provides a sound foundation for your HACCP. Examples of prerequisites to consider would be:
Once you have put these prerequisites in place a process work flow for each of your products is advised. This requires you to think about where the raw materials are going to be stored and managed, stock control and rotation, how to avoid the raw materials coming into contact with the processed product, and where the finished product will be stored after production. An effective work flow diagram will also identify the process steps and help you with your HACCP programme.
If you think your food business may need approval please contact us to arrange for a visit to your premises. At the visit there may need to be a planned programme of works in order to achieve approval and you and/or your employees may need to gain further training proportionate to the size and nature of your business.
An approval application form will be sent and there will be a certain amount of information required to be sent back with the completed form which will include a detailed scale plan and a description of the proposed arrangements of your business. This will include the arrangements for:
You are also required to have received adequate training in the application of HACCP principles and for you and your staff to have been instructed or trained in food safety to a level appropriate to their job.
Once your business is approved the council will issue your establishment with a unique approval number which forms part of the standard identification mark which must be applied to your products and documentation. This is in the form of an oval mark containing the unique three digit approval number which ensures that the products are traceable back to your company.
To ensure that you are complying with the labelling requirements visit the Trading Standards (Kent) website.
If you would like further information on approved premises please email Environmental Health.