Food business advice

Advice and guidance about running a food business, food safety, food hygiene inspections, food law and guidance

New business food advisory service

Lancaster City Council Eat Safe is a bespoke service giving you an experienced and qualified food safety advisor who can help you understand the regulatory requirements which your new food business will need to meet to achieve the best possible National Food Hygiene Rating before you open.

Food business registration

If you are starting a new food business or taking over an existing one then you must register your premises with us at least 28 days before you start operating.

Registration applies to most types of food business, including catering businesses run from home and mobile or temporary premises, such as market stalls and vans. If you have more than one premises, you will need to register all of them. Registration is free.

Food safety training courses

If you run a food business you will be responsible for identifying any training and instruction needs of food handlers. You will have to determine how these are met.

We offer food safety training delivered by the very same Environmental Health Officers you will meet when a food hygiene inspection takes place at your business.

Food hygiene ratings

This is a national scheme run in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The scheme provides consumers with information about hygiene standards in food premises at the time they are inspected by local authority food safety officers to check compliance with legal requirements. The food hygiene rating given reflects the inspection findings.

For businesses:

  • The scheme is a good advertisement for businesses that comply with food hygiene law
  • It's a legal requirement for businesses to meet hygiene regulations
  • Having the six different ratings gives businesses room to improve

How are the ratings worked out?

After a premises has been inspected an overall number rating, from zero (the worst) to five (the best) is awarded, based on food standards found at the time of inspection in the following three areas:-

  • Compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures
  • Compliance with structural requirements
  • Confidence in management control/procedures

The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service provided to customers.