Food Business - Set Up Advice

Guidance on food safety and related requirements applicable if you are thinking of starting a new food business.

As all businesses are different you are invited to discuss your proposals with a member of the Food and Safety Team telephone 01785 619402 or email


If you are starting up a new food business or taking over an existing one you must register your premises with the Local Authority 28 days before opening. This is a legal requirement.

More information on Food Business Registration

Apply to register online

Food Hygiene Legislation

You will need to ensure the food and drink you produce is both safe and wholesome.

The Food Safety Act 1990 and The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 set out the standards that you must meet in order to ensure food safety including the requirements for the premises used.

Information and advice is also available from the Food Standards Agency

All food businesses need to have in place a food safety management system based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP). Businesses must be able to show what they do to produce food safely, and have this written down. You may wish to use the Food Standards Agency's Safer Food Better Business Pack, which will guide you through how to comply and provide the necessary documentation.

Download the Food Standards Agency's Safer Food Better Business Pack


It is a legal requirement for food handlers to be trained in food hygiene matters, according to their work activities.

Labelling of food

Food Labelling Guidance

Food Allergen Labelling

Further information and advice can be obtained from Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards, 0300 1118002.

Planning Permission

If you are starting a food business in a premises that has not been used previously for this purpose then you may need to obtain planning permission. Please check with the Council's Planning Services, 01785 619000, for further advice.

Statutory Nuisance

It is important your premises do not cause a Statutory Nuisance to neighbouring properties and this includes noise and odour.

For new or refurbished premises you may need to seek further advice from the Food and Safety Section as to whether any odour control equipment will be needed as part of the extract ventilation system.

Health and Safety

You will need to make sure the premises and the way you operate your business complies with health and safety legislation.

Storage and disposal of waste

Adequate arrangements must be made for the storage and regular disposal of waste with a waste disposal company.


You will need a licence if you want to sell or supply alcohol, sell hot food between 11pm and 5am, or provide entertainment such as live or recorded music.

Information Booklet

For further advice contact the Council's Licensing Section on 01785 619000.


Sanitary accommodation is required for staff.

If you intend to have seating for customers then toilet facilities will be needed for them.

Advice on the siting and scale of provision of customer toilets is available from the Food and Safety Section.

Mobile Food Vehicles

These should be purpose built units.

  • They must have adequate hot and cold water, a means of collecting wastewater, and a fixed sink and wash hand basin

  • If LPG is used then a valid mobile catering vehicle/trailer safety check certificate for the LPG installation must be obtained and be available for inspection by Officers

  • Units powered by a generator or electrical hook-up must have a valid electrical safety test certificate for the wiring system and for any pieces of electrical equipment

Siting of units - mobile units cannot be sited on the A500 at Hanford, or in Stafford Town centre, without a permit. All these permits are currently taken and any future vacancies will be advertised in the local press.

For information on permits for Stone town centre please contact Stone Town Council on tel: 01785 619740

Units cannot be sited on roads classed as clearways. Otherwise they must be sited so as not to cause an obstruction to traffic or pedestrians. Units that are parked on private land e.g. some industrial estates or field gateways must obtain the consent of the land owner to trade from there.


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