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Registering and inspecting your food business

It is your legal responsibility to make sure you produce food safely when starting your food business. Find advice on how to do this at the  Food Standards Agency (FSA) website (opens new window).

If you sell food and/or drink to the public

If you store, prepare or sell food or drink to the public you need to register your business with us free of charge. This includes:

  • cafes;
  • restaurants;
  • takeaways;
  • food stalls;
  • hotels; or
  • if you sell food from home or through social media

Register a food business

Registration is free.

Register a food business (opens new window)

Please note: some of the information you give will be available to the public, including address, type of business and telephone number once you are registered.

Strict legal standards

All food you sell or supply must meet strict legal standards in relation to food (opens new window).

Please view our starting up a food business information sheet. The information sheet is designed to help those intending to start up a food business within Chichester District.

Starting up a food business information sheet (Word doc) [57KB]

Processing your registration

We will let you know by email when we have received your request. Your business will be added to our food register within 30 days.

A food inspection will then take place. You can continue running your food business while waiting for the inspection appointment.

Tell us about any changes

You can tell us about any changes by submitting another registration.

Tell us about any of the following changes to your:

  • name;
  • address;
  • ownership; or
  • closure of business

If you sell food of animal origin to businesses

You will need approval from us before you:

  • make;
  • sell;
  • prepare, or;
  • handle food made from animal origin to sell to other businesses.

This includes meat, dairy, egg, shellfish or other animal products. Strict standards of hygiene, structure and procedures must be adhered to.

For approval, contact

Warning: If you operate a food business without approval, you could receive a fine or even go to prison.

Food hygiene inspections

If your business makes or prepares food, it will be inspected to make sure you are following food law.

Our inspectors will check if your business produces food that is safe to eat. Inspectors will look at:

  • your premises;
  • the kinds of food you make or prepare, and;
  • how you work

You will need to have a food management system to help with this such as:

For advice on ingredients, allergens, shelf life and labelling, please contact West Sussex County Council Trading Standards (opens new window).

Frequency of inspections

Inspectors may:

  • come for routine visits;
  • in response to complaints; or,
  • because a risk has arisen elsewhere that may affect your business (such as a failure by one of your suppliers or a water failure in the locality).

How often your business is inspected depends on the type of business you run and its inspection history. Routine inspections can be as frequent as every 6 months.

Inspectors have the right to enter and inspect premises at any reasonable hour and their code of practice says that they should avoid making appointments unless absolutely necessary. You should be ready to welcome them at any time and without notice. The only exception to this is for food businesses run from a domestic dwelling when an appointment is usually made. 

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