Food business registration and inspections

When you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register with your local authority.

If you wish to operate a food business in Three Rivers District, you must register it. You should register at least 28 days before opening. If you are already trading and have not registered, you must do this as soon as possible.

A food business is any business that prepares, cooks, stores, handles, distributes, supplies or sells food and includes:

  • restaurants, cafes and takeaways
  • catering businesses run from home, mobile catering and temporary businesses
  • food stalls, food pop-ups and food vans
  • distance selling, mail order and food delivery

If you run a food business without registering it, you can be fined, receive a prison sentence of up to two years, or both.

Register a food business

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme provides information on food business hygiene standards to help you choose where to eat or shop for food.

A new rating is given each time a business is inspected by a food safety officer. Watford Borough Council are responsible for inspecting food premises according to the Food Hygiene Rating System in Three Rivers District.

For more information, call Watford Borough Council’s environmental health department on 01923 226400 or email