How to Check if a Food Business is Registered

Before purchasing, catering, or partnering, verify if a food business is registered and complies with safety standards and regulations. Registration is a legal requirement for all food businesses in the UK, and it helps to ensure that the food they produce is safe and hygienic. But how can you check if a food business is registered?

There are a few methods you can use to find out this information quickly and easily. In this blog post, we will show you how to check if a food business is registered using the following sources:

– The Food Standard Agency’s official website
– Local data regarding hygiene ratings
– The state health department or the county extension service

The Food Standard Agency’s Official Website

how to check if a food business is registered

The Food Standard Agency (FSA) is the government body responsible for regulating food safety and hygiene in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its agency, Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

Visiting the FSA’s official website is one of the easiest ways to check if a food business is registered. They provide you with the option to search for any business name’s information. There, you can find the food hygiene rating of any food business, as well as see the local authority’s date of last inspection.

The food hygiene rating is a score from 0 to 5 that reflects how well the business meets the food hygiene standards. A score of 0 requires urgent improvement, whereas a score of 5 indicates that the business maintains excellent hygiene practices.

The date of the last inspection shows when the local authority’s food safety officer visited the premises and checked its compliance with the law. The frequency of inspections depends on the type and size of the business, as well as its previous performance.

To search for a food business on the FSA’s website, you need to enter its name and postcode. You can also use partial names or postcodes if you are not sure about the exact details. The website will then show you a list of matching results, along with their ratings and inspection dates.

Related: How many fire extinguishers are required in a business premises

Local Data Regarding Hygiene Ratings

By downloading local hygiene rating data, you can verify the registration status of a food business. The FSA publishes this data every month on its website, and it includes information on all the food businesses that local authorities have rated.

The data is available in CSV format, which you can open with any spreadsheet software like Excel or Google Sheets. You can then filter, sort, or search the data by various criteria, such as business name, address, rating, or inspection date.

The data also includes additional information that may not be available on the FSA’s website, such as:

– The type of business (e.g., restaurant, takeaway, bakery, etc.)
– The scope of the inspection (e.g., full inspection, partial inspection, follow-up visit, etc.)
– The reason for the inspection (e.g., routine planned inspection, complaint investigation, etc.)
– The outcome of the inspection (e.g., satisfactory, improvement required, enforcement action taken, etc.)

Downloaded hygiene rating data provide a comprehensive picture of a food business’s operations and compliance with safety standards.

Check out: How long do you have to keep business records in the UK

The State Health Department or the County Extension Service

You can check if a food business is registered by contacting the State Health Department or the county extension service. These agencies can provide information on the registration status of the food business and the type of license it requires.

Depending on the state and county where the food business is located, it may need different types of licenses or permits to operate legally. Certain states mandate food service licenses, encompassing sanitation, equipment, personnel, and training requirements for food businesses. Other states may require a food processing license, which covers aspects like labeling, packaging, storage, and distribution.

State health department or county extension service can verify food business licenses and permits for validity. They can also provide you with information on how to report any unregistered or unsafe food businesses to the appropriate authorities.

To contact these agencies, you can visit their websites or call their phone numbers.  To assist them, you might be required to provide specific details about the food business you are interested in, such as its name, address, or phone number.


To ensure that you buy from a reputable and reliable food provider or partner with one, it is important to actively check if a food business is registered. Registration ensures food business meets safety standards, protecting customer health effectively.

There are several methods you can use to check if a food business is registered, such as:

– The Food Standard Agency’s official website
– Local data regarding hygiene ratings
– The state health department or the county extension service

These sources provide food hygiene ratings, last inspection date, license type, and relevant information about UK food businesses. This can help you make informed and confident decisions about your food choices.

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