Food Law News - UK - 1999
6 August 1999: ADMINSTRATION - Licensing of Butchers' Shops In England
DoH Letter, 6 August 1999
Licensing of Butchers' Shops In England
The Government has issued proposals proposals for an annual licensing scheme for retail butchers' shops in England. These were formally notified to the European Commission on 5 August 1999. Subject to the outcome of the EU notification procedure, it is anticipated that Regulations can be presented to Parliament before the end of this year, with a view to licensing coming into full effect by Summer 2000.
The draft Regulations reflect the outcome of the GB consultation carried out in the first half of last year, which indicated broad support for the government's proposals to require the annual licensing of butchers' shops. The proposals implement a key recommendation contained in the Pennington Group Report. The consultation exercise has resulted in some revisions to the original proposals, which are contained in the draft Regulations notified to the Commission.
The draft Regulations provide for:
- annual licensing of retail butchers shops, mobile shops and market stalls, handling both unwrapped raw meat together with other ready to eat foods from the same premises
Certain larger mixed business premises selling a range of goods, such as supermarkets, which have a butchery service outlet, will also be required to have a license. The licensing conditions apply only to those parts of the premises engaged in the butchery activities.
- a range of conditions which premises must satisfy in order to be licensed, including:
- Compliance with existing food hygiene legislation
- Operation of a documented Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system
- Enhanced staff training
- Payment of an annual license charge of £100
- local authority administration and enforcement of the scheme, including the power to refuse any application which does not meet the licensing requirements, and to suspend or revoke an existing licence where the conditions have been breached. Licence holders would have the right to appeal to a magistrates' court. Premises would remain open until appeals had been determined unless there was an imminent risk to health, in which case normal powers for immediate closure under the Food Safety Act would apply.
- a lead-in period once the Regulations have been laid, to allow local authorities and butchers to prepare for the licensing requirements. This period will be 6 months.
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