Food Premises Approval in Scotland: A Guide for Handling Meat, Fish, Egg, and Dairy Products

Food Premises Approval in Scotland: A Guide for Handling Meat, Fish, Egg, and Dairy Products

If you are planning to start a food business in Scotland that involves handling meat, fish, egg, or dairy products, it is essential to obtain food premises approval from the local authority. This blog provides a detailed overview of the process and requirements for securing this approval.


You do not need to be approved if you sell direct to the public or retailers like caterers, pubs and restaurants, as long as:
  • food is less than 25% of your trade
  • you do not handle any wild game meat products
  • you do not sell food outside the county your business is registered in

Understanding Food Premises Approval

Food premises approval is required for businesses that handle products of animal origin and supply them to other businesses. This includes establishments such as:

  • Meat processing plants
  • Fish processing plants
  • Dairies
  • Egg packing centers

The approval ensures that your premises meet specific hygiene standards set by the European Union and are fit for producing safe food.

Steps to Obtain Food Premises Approval

1. Contact Your Local Authority

Start by contacting the environmental health department of your local authority. They will provide you with an application form and guidance on the approval process.

2. Prepare Your Premises

Ensure that your premises meet the required hygiene standards. This includes having suitable facilities for handling, processing, and storing products, as well as implementing an effective food safety management system. You must still follow the rules for controlling the temperature and storage of any food you transport.

3. Complete the Application Form

Fill out the application form with details about your business, the type of products you will handle, and the processes involved. You may also need to provide plans of your premises and details of your food safety management system.

4. Submit Your Application

Submit the completed application form along with any required documentation to your local authority. There may be a fee associated with the application process.

5. Inspection

Your local authority will arrange an inspection of your premises to ensure compliance with hygiene standards. Be prepared to demonstrate your food safety management system and answer any questions the inspector may have.

6. Approval

If your premises meet the required standards, you will receive official approval to operate your food business. This approval must be displayed prominently in your establishment.

Maintaining Approval

Once you have obtained food premises approval, it is important to maintain compliance with hygiene standards. Regular inspections will be conducted by your local authority to ensure ongoing adherence to regulations.

Displaying your licence

Your council will have their own rules for how to display your approved status, usually on your food products themselves.


Obtaining food premises approval is a crucial step for businesses in Scotland that handle meat, fish, egg, or dairy products. By following the steps outlined above and maintaining high hygiene standards, you can ensure the safety of your products and the success of your business.

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