What you need to do

Businesses that store, prepare, distribute, or sell food or drink need to be registered with the local authority. Registration is free. This applies whether the business is for profit or not and whether it is public or private.

If you are starting a food business or taking over an existing food business, you must register at least 28 days before opening (or taking over an existing food business).

If you're already trading, you need to register as soon as possible, or you could be prosecuted.

You will also need to inform us about any changes such as name, address, ownership or closure of business. This can be done by emailing us.

You can begin trading when your application to register has been received by the Food Safety Team.

A food inspection will take place without prior notification any time after registration. You can continue running your food business while waiting for the inspection.

If you wish to request a visit to help maximise your FHRS rating, including 2 hours of bespoke advice from one of our Environmental Health Officers, please visit our Gain or Retain a 5 webpage.

Register of food premises within Waltham Forest

For up to date details of our food safety register please email us directly.


Certain types of businesses (Wholesale food businesses supplying food of animal origin) will need to be approved before they begin operating.

Businesses that require approval by the FSA

The following establishments require veterinary control and are approved by the FSA:

  • slaughterhouses
  • cutting plants
  • game handling establishments
  • wholesale meat markets

Businesses that require approval by local authorities

Meat establishments:

  • cold stores that are re-wrapping and re-packaging meat
  • minced meat establishments
  • meat preparations establishments
  • mechanically separated meat establishments
  • meat products processing plants
  • rendered animal fats and greaves processing plants
  • treated stomachs, bladders and intestines processing plants 
  • gelatine processing plants
  • collagen processing plants

Fish and shellfish establishments:

  • live bivalve molluscs (LBMs) establishments including dispatch centres and purification centres
  • establishments working with fishery products using factory and freezing vessels, processing plants, fresh fishery products, auction halls, wholesale markets

Animal produce establishments:

  • raw milk and dairy products
  • eggs and egg products, including packing centres, processing plants, liquid egg plants

To apply for approval with the London Borough of Waltham Forest please email us directly at​​​​Food.Safety@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Planning permission

Depending on the location of your business and the type and amount of food you prepare, sell or provide, you may need planning permission to run a business from home, so take advice from the planning and building control.

If your activities may constitute a material change of use to a residential premises (e.g: delivery, take away, repeated cooking smells, repeated commercial activities), you should contact the Planning team to assess if planning permission is needed.

Food and Safety Team


Waltham Forest Council

Postal Address only
Town Hall,
Fellowship Square,
Forest Road,
E17 4JF