Food businesses need to be independently checked
Verification makes sure a food business is:
- selling safe food
- following good food safety practices.
A verifier is an agency or person that has gained the appropriate recognition. This could be someone employed by:
- your local council
- an independent agency.
You will need to contact a verifier before you register if you are operating under either:
- a national programme
- a custom food control plan.
You need to include a letter from your confirmed verifier with your registration application.
Who can verify your business
You will be verified by your local council if your business:
- is registered under a Simply Safe & Suitable template food control plan, and
- operates in a single council region, and
- sells mainly directly to consumers.
Anyone with the appropriate recognition can verify a business registered under a:
- Simply Safe & Suitable template food control plan where a business is in multiple council regions and/or does not sell primarily directly to consumers
- National Programme 1, National Programme 2, or National Programme 3
- custom food control plan
- My Food Plan
- industry-generated template approved by MPI.
How to find a verifier
Independent verifiers and local councils set their own fees. These fees can vary. You should get some quotes before choosing a verifier.
If your verifier changes, let your registration authority know.
A guide to times and costs
Our guide has information on how long a typical verification takes and how much it is likely to cost.
Your first verification
For all food businesses, the first verification happens after you are registered and operating your business.
How soon depends on if you are a new or existing business and what plan or programme you are operating under.
If you are a new business
A new business must arrange for their verifier to visit within 6 weeks after registering.
You can request, in writing, to extend the initial verification for another 6 weeks after becoming registered with valid reasons. These include:
- your business won’t be trading by the verification due date
- unplanned, special circumstances make the verification impractical or impossible for your business or the verifier
- your business couldn’t find an available verifier (despite making all reasonable efforts).
If you are an existing business
An existing business must arrange for their verifier to visit either within 6 months or a year of registration.
- Custom food control plan and National Programme 3 businesses must be verified within 6 months.
- Otherwise, your business must be verified within 12 months.
How often verification is needed
After the first verification, how often you are verified depends on:
- the complexity of your food processes
- the types of food you sell
- how well you manage food safety.
Verification may be needed as often as every 3 months or just once every 18 months.
You may be able to get your food business verified remotely. This can reduce costs if your verifier would need to travel a long way to visit your business. Remote verification is available to qualifying businesses that operate under national programmes.
Find out more
Who to contact
If you have questions about getting your food business verified, email firstname.lastname@example.org