Food safety for businesses

The food and safety team at Solihull Council inspects food premises to ensure that they comply with food safety and standards legislation.

The Council has a statutory duty to inspect food businesses to ensure they are meeting the minimum legal requirements.

From 1 October 2023 businesses must no longer supply, sell or offer certain single-use plastic items in England.

We advise you to read the guidance notes for more information.

Starting a food business

There are many things to consider when starting a food business. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) Guidance for food businesses provides a wealth of information and guidance for both new and existing businesses

When you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register at least 28 days before opening with your local authority. If you are already trading and are not registered this will need to be done so as soon as possible. There is no cost for registration and applications cannot be refused. Registrations can be submitted to GOV.UK.

However, there are restrictions. Some businesses are required to be approved by the local authority if they make, prepare or handle products of animal origin for onward supply to other businesses. You can check if this applies to your business at GOV.UK.

This scheme reflects the compliance food hygiene standards at the time of the inspection, by the local authority. It is not a reflection of the quality of the food. Businesses rate from 0-5

  • 5 - hygiene standards are very good
  • 4 - hygiene standards are good
  • 3 - hygiene standards are generally satisfactory
  • 2 - some improvement is necessary
  • 1 - major improvement is necessary
  • 0 - urgent improvement is required

More information on food hygiene ratings for food businesses can be found at the Food Standards Agency.

If you consider that the rating given is unjust, you can appeal this with the lead officer for food Diane Hurt at dihurt@solihull.gov.uk in the first instance.

Template forms for lodging an appeal or ‘right to reply’ can be found below or are available at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.

Once the necessary improvements have been made a business can request a re-visit at a cost of £168.

Completed applications should be sent to pprotection@solihull.gov.uk.

Food handlers must be appropriately trained. The following is recommended:

  • Managers and / or supervisors responsible for the development, maintenance and implementation of a food safety management system based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Controls Points (HACCP) should receive training  equivalent to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) level 3 Food Hygiene.
  • Food handlers should receive training equivalent to level 2 Food Hygiene

More information regarding training courses can be found at CIEH training programmes.

Food safety inspections

Authorised officers have the right to enter and inspect any food premises, and any food found on the premises, at all reasonable hours. To refuse access is an offence under  Food Safety Legislation.

Please note appointments will only be made in advance if the business is operating from a domestic premises or it is foreseen there may be issues around access.  

Useful links from the Food Standards Agency

Get in touch

You can contact Solihull Council’s Food Safety Team by:

If you are holding an event in Solihull  additional information can be found here.