We encourage and support businesses within the Mendip District Council area to manufacture, prepare and sell foods safely.
Registration of a food business is free and you can trade as soon as we have received your registration form. This form should also be used to keep us up to date with changes of ownership, address and food handling activities.
The food hygiene rating scheme provides customers with information about hygiene standards in food businesses. Businesses in Mendip are rated by food safety officers, and this helps customers make informed choices about where they buy and eat food.
It is a legal requirement that all food businesses have a documented food safety management system which should be kept up to date and be available for officers to inspect during inspections. Failure to have a documented food safety management system will result in a low food hygiene rating. To assist food businesses the Food Standards Agency have devised a free document called Safer Food Better Business.
Before starting a food business there are several things you need to think about to ensure that your business complies with the law.
If you operate a food business new legislation comes into force from December 2014 which will apply to all food businesses with regards to allergen labelling. Individuals who are not food businesses and occasionally provide food at charity events or voluntary cake sales, for example, do not need to follow these requirements.
If you run a catering business make sure you understand and follow the legal obligations for gas catering equipment in kitchens and catering premises.
The Council has a legal duty to hold a register and inspect all food businesses. Food safety officers must assess the food safety risk at each food business. This risk identified dictates the frequency of inspections to a food business.
Whilst food businesses take every care to ensure that the food they produce is safe, from time to time things can go wrong and you may wish to complain.
The law requires food handlers to receive appropriate training in food hygiene matters. As a minimum staff overseeing the running of the business, those supervising others and staff left on their own must undertake Level 2 Food Hygiene Training.
Food poisoning or more generally food-borne disease can be an unpleasant illness.
Under EC legislation if your food business processes and sells some types of food using unprocessed products of animal origin e.g. fresh meat, raw minced meat, raw milk or eggs, the business may require EC Approval if you intend sell to other businesses, rather than direct to consumers.