The law requires that food business operators must register every separate unit of their food business establishment that carries out any of the stages of production, processing and distribution of food.
A 'food business' is any undertaking, whether for profit or not, and whether public or private - that carries out any activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food. The term 'food' also includes drink. If you are unclear as to whether or not your business or activity falls into the definition the examples below should help you.
Examples where registration IS required:
Examples where registration is NOT required:
The legal requirement to register is found in Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs.
Registration allows local authorities to keep an up-to-date list of food premises in their area so that they can plan inspections and target advice and other food safety activities. The frequency of inspection or other types of contact will depend on the type of businesses.
If the business address has a postcode beginning IP1, IP2, IP3, IP4, submit an application here:
All other postcodes click here.
The details provided will be entered on our database. Ipswich Borough Council is required to keep a list of food business establishments registered with them. This list is available for inspection by the general public at all reasonable times.
The list contains the following information about each food business:
We may give or send a copy of the list or any entry on it to any person who makes a request for such information.
The Council must have regard to the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to any information which it holds.
Food business operators must ensure the Council always has up-to-date information on their food business establishments and must notify the authority of any significant changes of activity, or closure.
Such notifications should be made, preferably in writing and before the changes occur, and in any event no later than 28 days after the change has occurred.
Notification of a change to the operator of a food business establishment should be made by the new business operator.
If you are a small business you will usually receive a call from the Food Safety team to discuss the way forward and to give some initial advice. You will eventually receive an inspection at your premises and in most cases will receive a food hygiene rating.
Medium to large sized businesses will usually receive an inspection as the first contact, as initial advice is usually not necessary. Again a food hygiene rating will be given where appropriate. The target for such contacts is 28 days from the registration date, but this can vary widely dependant on available resources.
Businesses may trade following registration (although it is a requirement to ensure you have registered 28 days prior to your intention to start trading), but you must ensure you fully comply with the law – the fact that an inspection has not taken place is no defence against breaches of the law.
These notes are provided for information only and should not be regarded as a complete statement of the law.