Food safety regulations

The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations made under it, make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health.

They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way. The Council is responsible for ensuring that local businesses comply with these regulations.

An estimated five million people suffer from food poisoning in England and Wales each year. Running a food business means that you have a particular responsibility in protecting the health of your customers.

Food Safety Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are a legal requirement for all food businesses. The Council requires a risk assessment to be carried out prior to registration of a food business.

Do I need a licence to sell food?

You need to register with the Environmental Health & Licensing department at least 28 days prior to opening - registration is free but is a legal requirement. If late night trading is proposed, a licence is required, and this would be referred to our licensing team.

Does everyone working in a food preparation business need food hygiene training?

The proprietor of a food business needs to ensure that everyone who handles food is instructed and/or trained in food hygiene to a level appropriate to their job. Further advice is available on our Food Hygiene Training page.

How can I find out about the Clean Food awards - which premises have one and how I can get one?

Please visit our clean food award page for detailed information about how to get one and which premises have one.

I ate out last night and think I've got food poisoning - what should I do?

Common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and sometimes a fever. Make sure you don't get dehydrated - drink plenty of fluids.

If you’re worried about your health or someone else’s (especially pregnant women, elderly people or children) call the NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or contact your GP for advice.

If you think your illness has been caused by a restaurant or other food business in Stevenage, the Council needs to know so we can look into it.

I'm planning to start a business selling food - who should I contact?

If you're opening a new food business, you must register with the council at least 28 days before opening. It's advisable to discuss food hygiene requirements with one of our team before you open.

There are some exemptions to registration, and if you make certain changes to your business you must re-register.


Contact details

Environmental Health and Licensing
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
01438 242908 / 242916

Related content

Registration of a food business establishment

Food Standards Agency