Butchers’ shop licensing is being withdrawn across the UK from the end of 2005. From 1 January 2006, all retail butchers will be subject to the new EC hygiene regulations that apply to all other retail and catering businesses.
These regulations are very similar to the existing hygiene rules, but include a new requirement to operate HACCP-based food safety management procedures.
The decision to discontinue licensing was made at an open FSA Board meeting on 10 March 2005 and was informed by a full stakeholder consultation. A policy review had found that the new regulations offer an equivalent level of public health protection to the licensing scheme, which had only ever been envisaged as a temporary measure pending the introduction of HACCP in all food businesses through these EC regulations.
What now for butchers selling raw meat and ready-to-eat foods?
From 1 January 2006 such businesses will no longer require a licence to operate, but will still have to register with their local authority and operate HACCP-based food safety management procedures. Previously licensed butchers should therefore maintain their approach to food safety management and butchers wanting to sell raw meat and ready-to-eat foods for the first time should have these systems in place.
Food, Health and Safety Team
Housing and Environmental Enforcement
Guildhall, Marshall's Yard