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:
- Minced meat
- Meat preparations
- Mechanically separated meat
- Meat products
- Live bi-valve molluscs
- Fishery products
- Raw milk (other than raw cows milk)
- Dairy products
- Eggs (not primary production)
- Egg products
- Frogs legs and snails
- Rendered animal fats and greaves
- Treated stomachs, bladders and intestines
- Gelatin and collagen
- Certain cold stores
- Certain wholesale markets
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".
- Marginal is interpreted as a small part of the establishments business as meaning up to a quarter of the business in terms of food or less than two tonnes in terms of meat
- Localised is interpreted as meaning: sales within the supplying establishments own county plus the greater of either the neighbouring county or counties or 30 miles from the boundary of the supplying establishments county
- Restricted is interpreted as concerning only certain types of products being made or establishments being supplied
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:
- To identify any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels
- To identify the critical control points (CCPs) at the step(s) at which control is essential to prevent or eliminate a hazard or to reduce it to acceptable levels
- Establish a critical limit at those CCPs which separate acceptability from unacceptability for the prevention, elimination or reduction of identified hazards
- Establish and implement effective monitoring procedures at critical control points
- Establish corrective actions when monitoring indicates a CCP is not under control
- Establish procedures to verify that the above measures are working effectively
- Establish documents and records commensurate with the nature and size of the food business to ensure that the above measures are effective
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:
- Cleaning and sanitation
- Personal hygiene
- Training for yourself and employees
- Pest control
- Supplier quality assurance
- Management of waste
- Preventative maintenance programme
- Incident/recall management systems
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.
What do I do next?
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:
- Waste collection and disposal arrangements
- Water supply quality testing arrangements
- Arrangements for product testing (shelf life/microbiological/water)
- Pest control arrangements
- Arrangements for monitoring staff health and staff hygiene training
- Record keeping
- Applying the identification mark to product packaging or wrapping
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.
Our approved establishments
If you would like further information on approved premises please email Environmental Health.