The Regulations introduce a statutory annual licensing scheme for retail butchers' shops and other retail food outlets, including mobile shops and market stalls, handling and selling unwrapped raw meat together with ready-to-eat food from the same premises. Mixed business premises selling a range of goods, such as supermarkets, will need a licence where they operate butchery service outlets. Under transitional arrangements, local authorities and butchers will have six months from 1 May to prepare for the new licensing arrangements. Shops covered by the Regulations will need to obtain a licence before 1 November 2000.
Licensing is subject to satisfactory hygiene conditions being in place, including compliance with exiting food hygiene legislation, the operation of documented food safety management controls in line with the principles of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points approach, and enhanced staff hygiene training requirements. A premises will be required to pay a charge of £100 for a licence to the issuing authority.
The Regulations apply to England and will be enforced by local food authorities. Licensing regulations were laid in Scotland on 30 March and similar proposals are being considered for Wales and Northern Ireland.