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STARTING UP A FOOD BUSINESS  (by DEFA Environmental Health Unit)

There is a lot to consider when starting up any new business and getting it right from the start will help you run your business well in the future. If you are considering setting up a new food business, please contact a member of the Environmental Health team as soon as possible. We can provide you with advice on a wide range of areas including the following:


You will need to register your business with us. You should register 28 days before opening and once registered an officer will contact you to discuss your proposals, provide advice and if necessary arrange a visit. There is no charge for registration.

Please contact us for a registration form or one is available online at:


Before you take on the tasks of operating a food business, you must make sure that you and your staff have a good knowledge of food hygiene.

While a formal qualification is not a legal requirement, having a Level 2 Food Safety Certificate or equivalent is recommended and demonstrates to your customers that you have taken your responsibility for food safety seriously.

Allergen awareness training is available free of charge via the Food Standards Agency website at;

Should you require further advice in relation to training, please do not hesitate to contact Environmental Health on 685894 or


Your premises must be in good condition and kept clean.

The layout and equipment must allow you to prepare safe food.

You need to think about:

  • hand washing facilities.
  • customer and staff toilets.
  • easy to clean floors, walls, ceilings and windows.
  • lighting, ventilation and drainage.
  • temperature control.
  • easy to clean equipment.
  • waste.

If you are planning to develop or refurbish a premises, please contact us for more detailed advice regarding the above. It is also recommended that you contact Planning and Building Control (01624 685950) to discuss your proposals.

Managing food safety

You need to make sure that the food you make and sell is safe to eat. To do this you must out in place food safety management procedures.

The Food Standards Agency has produced Safer Food Better Business packs to help you with this. They are free, easy to use and can help you manage food safety and comply with the law. Please contact us for more information or visit Safer Food Better Business at


The following details must be provided for most pre-packed foods:

  • the name of the food.
  • an ingredients list.
  • information on certain foods causing allergies or intolerances.
  • the quantity of certain ingredients.
  • the net quantity of the food.
  • a date of minimum durability.
  • any special storage instructions and/or conditions of use.
  • the name and address of the food business operator under whose name the food is being marketed (or the importer in some cases).
  • the country of origin or place of provenance of the food.
  • instructions for use.
  • the alcoholic strength by volume (if required).

Health and safety

You must work in a way that protects you, your employees and your customers.

There are rules on:

  • management of workplace safety.
  • standards for staff welfare.
  • work equipment.
  • manual handling.
  • electrical and gas safety.
  • ventilation and extraction.
  • fire safety.

For further advice please contact—

 Environmental Health

Environment Safety & Health Directorate

Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John’s


Tel:  (01624) 685894 Fax. (01624) 685773


Culture Vannin

Adding some Manx language and / or aspects of Manx culture to your branding and promotional material can add a unique Manx flavour to your goods and services.

Culture Vannin runs a free translation service  at whilst they can also help with advice about cultural events such as Tynwald Day and Hop tu Naa.

Adrian Cain, the Manx Language Officer for Culture Vannin, can be contacted at  or on 451098.

Culture Vannin provides a free service and aims to develop and promote a strong sense of national identity.