Find out how to:

  • Register your business
  • Comply with food hygiene legislation
  • Find useful publications

Before you register please read:

Register your business

Register your food business

Print version: Food business registration form

You must register your food business establishment with us at least 28 days before you start serving food.

If you intend to set up business as a caterer or food retail outlet selling directly to the public - you will normally only need to be registered.

This means you will be able to operate your food business even if you haven't heard back from us about your food premises inspection. This is known as 'tacit consent'.

More information: ‘Tacit consent’ means you can act as if your application has been granted if you do not receive your licence/permit within a certain time after we confirm we have received your application.

Certain types of food premises such as dairies, meat product manufacture or wholesale fish markets have to be approved rather than registered before they start trading. See below for more information.

Approved food businesses

It is very likely that your premises will need approval if you intend to set up a business that manufactures or handles products of animal origin for sale onto other businesses.

Examples of food handling:

  • Slicing
  • Wrapping

Please note: It is a legal requirement that approval - if needed - is obtained before you start to trade.

'Food of animal origin' includes:

  • Meat and poultry - whether fresh, frozen or cooked
  • Meat products - such as pies, sausage rolls, faggots, black pudding and bacon
  • Raw or partially cooked minced meat or meat preparation - such as sausages, burgers, marinated raw meat and kebab meat
  • Fish and fish products - such as filleting fish, fish fingers, prawns, lobsters, crabs and crayfish, whether dead or alive
  • Live bivalve molluscs - such as oysters
  • Ready meals containing fish or meat
  • Milk and dairy products - such as butter, cream, cheese, yoghourt and ice cream
  • Frogs legs and snails
  • Rendered animal fats and other animal by-products - such as gelatine, collagen, stomachs, bladders and intestines
  • Honey
  • Blood

How do I become approved?

You will need to:

  • Produce a food safety management document showing how you will make sure the food you produce is safe
  • Apply an identification mark to your end product

Please note: The identification mark is an oval shaped mark containing a number which is unique to your business and is supplied by Mid Sussex. This mark allows us to trace the product back to the place of production/wrapping. It also provides confirmation that certain standards have been met by your business.


'Food business'
If you are involved in any stage of production, processing and distribution of food - you are classed as being a 'food business'.

This can be for:
Not for profit
Public production
Private production

And includes:
Food manufacturers
Home caterers
Guest houses
Delivery vehicles
Buffet cars on trains
Market and other stalls
Hot dog and ice cream vans etc.

'Food business operator'
The person/s responsible for ensuring that food law is followed within the food business.

Inspections and food hygiene ratings

We will inspect your premises soon after we have received your registration. You will be issued with a copy of the inspection report. Your food business will be given a rating based on the assessment.

Please note: It is a legal requirement for every food business to have a documented food safety management system which is reviewed regularly.

We will ask to see your food safety management documentation such as your:

  • Hazard analysis
  • Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedure or Safer Food Better Business pack
  • Monitoring records
  • Training records
  • Pest control records

Please visit Safer Food Better Business for more information on:

  • Small caterers
  • Retailers
  • Child-minders
  • Chinese cuisine
  • Indian, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan cuisines

To appeal or request a revisit please use the forms below:

More information for food businesses:


It is a legal requirement for food business operators to make sure all food handlers are supervised, instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters. 

Toilet facilities

The public

If you are providing refreshments for customers that are to be consumed on the premises - you must provide enough toilets.


It is a legal requirement to provide toilet facilities for staff. Please take a look at Provision of toilets in food establishments in Mid Sussex for more information.

Personal hygiene

Anyone involved in a food business should have a high standard of personal and general hygiene. This reduces the risk of contamination and helps to prevent food poisoning.

More information:

Contact us

Food Safety Team
Tel: 01444-477433

Last updated: 07 October 2019