Food Law News - UK - 1996

23 May 1996: PREMISES REGISTRATION - Review of the Food Premises (Registration) Regulations 1991

23 May 1996 - Department of Health Letter


The Department of Health has been reviewing the operation and effectiveness of the Food Premises (Registration) Regulations 1991 with a view to removing unnecessary burdens on business while maintaining appropriate safeguards on public health. As a result of the review, two proposals have been made:

(i) the removal of the requirement on food businesses to register at least 28 days before starting to operate;
(ii) to exempt the domestic premises of members of the Women's Institute (WI) who produce food for sale in WI markets from the requirements to register.

Attached to the letter is a short paper explaining the proposals.

With regard to (i), it indicates that the Department believes that the requirement to give 28 days notice deters some self-employed people from taking the opportunity to start up, particularly when the work may only be short-term, and tends to impact unfavourably on the small business operator. The new control would only require a business to make an application to register before starting to trade. Registration by a local authority would have to be completed "as soon as is practicable".

With regard to (ii), at present WI members who produce food on a regular basis for sale in WI markets are required to register with the local authority. The paper indicates that this is unnecessary since:
- the food is usually microbiologically of relatively low risk (for example, jam); and
- the WI markets from which the food is sold will themselves be registered with the local authority.

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