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Please note that some of our council tax services will not be available today and over the weekend. You will be unable to report a move, set up a Direct Debit or view your online account. Normal service should resume on Monday.  

Food Business Approval

Information about Food Business Approval and how to apply


  • Find out if you need food business approval
  • How much it costs
  • How you can apply for approval
  • What you can do if your application is unsuccessful

Do I need food business approval?

If you have a food business you may need to be approved by us under Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004.

Whether you need approval or not depends on your type of business. If you produce foods containing products of animal origin for sale to other businesses then your premises may need to be approved by us.

Some examples of types of premises that need to be approved by us are:

  • meat processing plants;
  • meat preparation plants;
  • minced meat processing operations; 
  • mechanically separated meat processing plants; and
  • cold stores

This applies only if they are “stand alone”, meaning they are not attached to a slaughter house, cutting plant or game handling establishment.

Please note that if you do need approval and don’t have it yet, you can’t produce certain foods until we have approved you.

Apply for approval

How much does food business approval cost?

There is no charge for requesting your business to be approved.

Who can apply for food business approval?

You need to be old enough to run a business, otherwise there are no other rules about who can apply.

How do I apply for food business approval?

We would prefer an online application if possible to save paper, time and money.

Apply online

If you would rather send in a paper application, you can download an application form. 

 Paper forms are also available from Colchester Central library and Community Hub or by contacting us. 

Download an application form

What happens after I submit my application?

We process your application as soon as possible and we aim to complete your application within 15 working days.

Which national laws and regulations apply to this licence?

Read the national laws and regulations here.

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted.

If you haven’t heard from us after 20 working days, please contact us.

What can I do if my application is not successful?

Please contact us in the first instance on 01206 282581 or via email:

How can I tell you about a change to my existing food premises approval?

Please let us know about any changes using the online application. 

Let us know about a change

What if I want to make a consumer complaint about a food premises or business?

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer rights - GOV.UK will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Contact the Food and Safety Team

Opening Hours Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm (excluding public holidays). Please Note: Colchester Borough Council is committed to Customer Excellence and may record your call.


Phone: 01206 282581