Registering as a food business

VSS

Well-Known Member
In a recent thread on here it became aparent that lots of people (myself included) weren't aware that registration as a food business would be required even if all you do is transfer carcasses directly from the field to an AGHE.
Following that discussion, I have registered as a food business with my local authority, and thought I'd just share the process for the benefit of anyone else who needs to do the same:

First off, it didn't cost anything! Just downloaded a simple form, filled in and sent off. There are a number of "tick box" options for the type of food business that you want to register, so I ticked "primary producer", and then wrote "registration required for the supply of in-skin deer carcasses directly from the field to an AGHE" in the info box.

Within a few days of submitting the form I recieved a letter confirming my registration. Also a phone call, wanting to arrange a time to come out to do an inspection. I pointed out that I wasn't registering a premises, that deer would be going directly to an AGHE, and that they wouldn't even be entering the county, but they still insisted on an inspection, primarily to look at my record keeping.

So, what did the inspection involve?
1) Inspector wanted to see my written risk assessment (at least, the bit that related to food production), and took a copy of it.
2) Asked about training / qualifications: I showed DSC1 certificate, which the inspector photographed. She also asked a few questions about lymph node inspection etc.
3) Asked what steps I took to minimise contamination / cross contamination in the field: I showed the contents of my backpack, which includes wet wipes, latex golves, sanitising gel and a small first aid kit. I also explained about the gralloching process using minimal cuts.
4) Asked about disposal of offal: I just said "in line with best practice guidelines".
5) Asked about transport of carcasses: I showed her the back of my pickup (which was thankfully clean!) and carcass tray, which inspector photographed.
6) Asked about tracability: I showed the BDS carcass tags that I use, which the inspector photographed.
7) Asked about record keeping: I showed my field notebook (carried in backpack) and also cull record sheets that I enter all info on at home (date, species, where shot, weight, abnormalities, purchaser, tag number, etc). Inspector photographed a couple of sample pages.

All in all, pretty thorough.
I recieved a letter a couple of days later confirming all ok, and pointing out that I wouldn't be required to display a rating sticker due to not having a registered premises. However, the letter did go on to say that had they awarded me a rating it would have been 5.
 

75

Well-Known Member
I think it differs massively between councils and inspectors. I’m registered with Greater Manchester and they popped out for a look and general chat - more curious than anything as they’d never come across it (used to dealing with kebab shops and pizza places!). All very friendly and free.
 

Cris

Well-Known Member
Interesting. Went down this road but after the application was told by the inspector that it was not needed as I didn't store or process anything and he took my details off record. I have all the processes, records and transport techniques as the poster in place so think its a bit of a grey area and different authorities may interpret it differently.
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
Interesting. Went down this road but after the application was told by the inspector that it was not needed as I didn't store or process anything and he took my details off record. I have all the processes, records and transport techniques as the poster in place so think its a bit of a grey area and different authorities may interpret it differently.
How long ago was that? The law now requires you to be registered, although this wasn't always the case (hence the confusion expressed in the earlier thread on this subject).
Also, note that I've registered as a food business, not a food premises.
 

fallow me

Well-Known Member
I can see this opening up a hole can of worms, ie having to tell your home insurance that technically your running a business from home, I will admit wasn't aware of this requirement until now, and i do have a chiller and food prep area in a converted garage, more bureaucracy
 

25 Sharps

Well-Known Member
Interesting. Went down this road but after the application was told by the inspector that it was not needed as I didn't store or process anything and he took my details off record. I have all the processes, records and transport techniques as the poster in place so think its a bit of a grey area and different authorities may interpret it differently.
P

Was that before 2015? as it changed then to basically anybody supplying into the food chain needing to be registered.
 

Cris

Well-Known Member
P

Was that before 2015? as it changed then to basically anybody supplying into the food chain needing to be registered.
This was last year in Berkshire and yes this could open up a very big can of worms. Take no advise from this site other than contact your local authority. Having been there personally and been told very clearly what is and is not required.
 

25 Sharps

Well-Known Member
This was last year in Berkshire and yes this could open up a very big can of worms. Take no advise from this site other than contact your local authority. Having been there personally and been told very clearly what is and is not required.
If you follow the link above you will see they were wrong to tell you that, there is no 'can of worms' just the law, I did my own research and found the link above for a government website (quite possibly me VSS is referring to for posting).

I also spoke to my local authority who said even though I only sold a few rabbits on the way home from shooting I was supplying food and had to be registered, as your authority should have told you in similar circumstances.
 

slider

Well-Known Member
Thanks VSS, just started going through the same process

As others have said the process does vary between local authorities
 

Glyn 1

Well-Known Member
The regulations are the same wherever you are. If your local authority take it upon themselves not to implement them then that is up to them but I would make sure that you have this in writing and signed by a senior person just in case there is any dispute later.
 
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75

Well-Known Member
This was last year in Berkshire and yes this could open up a very big can of worms. Take no advise from this site other than contact your local authority. Having been there personally and been told very clearly what is and is not required.
As above, no can of worms - your LA were incorrect! They don’t have the power to make it amend the rules - and they are very clearly laid out in the document VSS referenced.
 

Cris

Well-Known Member
As above, no can of worms - your LA were incorrect! They don’t have the power to make it amend the rules - and they are very clearly laid out in the document VSS referenced.
As I said take NO advice from this site other than contact you LA for their opinion of your individual situation!
 

oxfordshirestalker

Well-Known Member
After being the instigator of that first thread, I went through the process with Oxfordshire county council. After some confusion about who was responsible, I am now registered. Interestingly though, there was no inspection and no real concern about what I was up to. I also only have it by email that I’m registered on their books.
It was a fairly straightforward process.
 

75

Well-Known Member
As I said take NO advice from this site other than contact you LA for their opinion of your individual situation!
Yep, best ignore several knowledgeable members who have pointed out the correct guidance note and link to a government website.

There are no “individual circumstances”. If you supply to an AGHE you should be registered.
 

Rifle shot

Well-Known Member
Thorough as usual Tim, and very informative. Before I make enquires, is their any follow up? Is their a review process, or duration of license?
RS
 

75

Well-Known Member
Thorough as usual Tim, and very informative. Before I make enquires, is their any follow up? Is their a review process, or duration of license?
RS
It will most likely depend on your LA. Mine is open ended (Manchester) but they routinely audit businesses so theoretically I could get a knock on the door at any time. However, the inspectors said this was very unlikely as I was low risk and they target dodgy takeaways etc! It’s more likely I’d get a phone call every year or two just checking nothing has changed.
 

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