Requirement for registration and licensing of food business establishment

Requirement for Registration and Licensing of Food and Feed Businesses

Preamble: The Food Safety and Quality Act 2011 under Part IX requires that all food and feed businesses are registered and licensed by the Food Safety and Quality Authorityto ensure the safety and quality of food and feed, unless exempted by the President.

Food and feed businesses shall be categorized into different classes through a risk profiling based on the level of risk posed to the consumer. For the purposes of registration, all food and feed businesses shall be registered to allow the Authority to have a comprehensive database of the food and feed businesses in terms of their numbers, geographical distribution and profiles.

For the purposes of licensing, food and feed businesses falling within the class that poses significant risk in terms of their impact on consumer health and safety shall be licensed.

The registration and licensing of food and feed businesses shall enable the FSQA to carry out surveillance, monitoring and official control (inspection and certification) of food and feed businesses more efficiently based on the food safety and qualityrisk analysis approach.

Registration

All new and existing food and feed business operators must register with the Authority by submitting the completed registration / renewal application form (Form No. 001) annually.

New food and feed businesses should register their food or feed business with the Food Safety and Quality Authority at least 30 days before commencingoperations.

All registered food business operators outside class I shall be subjected to licensing for which they shall complete an application form (Form 002)

All Class I food and feed businesses, not requiring licensing, shall implement food safety prerequisite programs e.g. Good Hygienic Practices (GHP), Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) relevant to their operations

Licensing

All new and existing food and feed businesses falling outside of class I shall be licensed by the Authority annually after completion of the licensing/renewal application form(Form No. 002) and meeting the licensing requirements and conditions as per the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011.

On receipt of the completed licensing application, food or feed businesses will be subjected to inspections by the FSQA to verify that, where necessary, all systems, procedures and documentation meet the relevant licensing conditions as stated below:

  • Products and processes
  • Sanitation, pest control, sanitizers and chemical agents
  • Personal hygiene and competencies of staff (food handlers)
  • Equipment and conveyances (internal product movement)
  • Design, construction and maintenance of facility
  • Product reception, transportation and storage
  • Documentation, records and food and feed recall procedures

Notification of licensing, full, conditional or denial shall be made to the Food or feed Business in writing after inspections have been carried out.

The Authority shall be issuing appropriate guidelines to the different classes of food and feed businesses with the requisite information to create understanding of their obligations and thereby facilitate their compliance with the requirements of registered and licensedfood and feed businesses and the overall provisions of the FSQ Act 2011.

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Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia is established by the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2011 under the Office of The President. It is the sole National Competent Authority with powers of delegation mandated to officially control the safety and quality of all foods (including water and beverages) and animal feed whether locally produced, imported or destined for export.

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