Support and guidance for commercial food businesses

Anyone starting a new food business must register with Ealing Council at least 28 days before opening. Registration is free of charge and cannot be refused. Re-registration is also necessary where a change of ownership has taken place.

It is advised that businesses meet the following requirements to ensure that food is safely produced to reduce the risk to public health. Please be aware that these are just a few of the key parts that detail the required structural legislation compliances for all food businesses. This is, however, not a complete list of what is required to comply with the law, and the responsible person in charge of the food business should conduct further research.

Structure, layout and ventilation

The layout, design, construction, siting and size of a food premises should:

  • Permit adequate maintenance, cleaning and disinfection, avoid or minimise airborne contamination, and provide adequate working space to allow for the hygienic preparation of foods
  • Permit good food hygiene practices, including protection against contamination and pest control
  • Protect against the accumulation of dirt, contact with toxic materials, the shedding of particles into food, and the formation of condensation or undesirable mould on surfaces.

Specific information on the legislative requirements for rooms where food is treated or processed.

Cleaning and disinfection

Businesses should follow a two-stage cleaning process.

The first step is to clean the surfaces with hot soapy water to remove food waste and grime, followed by a disinfectant application. We recommend that the disinfectant products you use meet BS EN 1276:1997 or BS EN 13697:2001 standards.

Cleaning agents, disinfectants, and chemicals should not be stored in the area where food is handled. Further information on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).

Pests and pest proofing

The layout and design of the business should prevent the entry of pests into the premises and should aid in pest control. The premises should always be kept free from any pests. Businesses should follow good practices in pest control such as always keeping the premises clean and free of food waste, pest-proofing all potential entry points, and carrying out regular monitoring for evidence of pest activity.

Businesses may want to employ the services of a competent pest contractor. It is recommended the pest control company is a member of the British Pest Control Association.

Adequate procedures should also be in place to prevent domestic animals from having access to places where food is prepared, handled, or stored.

Waste disposal

Waste fats, oil and grease (FOG) can cause major and costly problems in commercial premises if not disposed of responsibly. It is a legal requirement to comply with the law around good waste management as poor waste disposal can block drains and impact the local community, your business, and your customers.

By not complying with the correct disposal of FOG waste, you can face fines or prosecution under The Water Industry Act 1991 and will have to compensate Thames Water if they’ve had to clear a blockage caused by poor waste management. To prevent such occurrences, there are several ways to carry out good waste management methods, for example, collecting your FOG waste and storing it in a tight-lidded container for collection by a licensed waste contractor or hiring a specialist to install grease separators and removal units.

Please see the Thames Water website for further guidance