EHO working group of BANES guidance
Information for potential operators of on-farm pasteurisers &/or milk vending machines
Information intended for small to medium sized businesses considering pasteurising milk on-farm and then selling it either to the final consumer and/or to other businesses. It is also relevant for operators of milk vending machines.
It has been produced by a working group of Environmental Health/Protection & Trading Standards Professionals in the South West of England, chaired by the UK Health Security Agency.
It aims to summarise the legal requirements and signpost where further help and guidance can be obtained, so that businesses can produce and/or sell their milk safely and legally.
Obtaining Local Authority ‘approval’ for your new business
You may need to get formal approval from your local authority if you wish to sell your milk to other businesses. This will be obtained from the “Environmental Health” team in your local District, Borough, or Unitary Council.
Please Note: You cannot legally sell your milk to other businesses until you have obtained ‘conditional’ approval to do so, but there may be exemptions for small amounts sold locally.
Alternatively, if you plan to sell your milk directly to the final consumer, whether using your own vending machines or bottles you may not need approval. Instead, you will just need to be “registered as a food business” with the local council. Please note that you should register your business at least 28 days before you start to sell the milk.
Sale of raw milk – there are specific rules on this and you may need approval from your Environmental Health Team, or there may be restrictions on the volumes you can sell and who you can sell this to.
You are strongly advised to contact your local authority Environmental Health team to discuss your outline plan at an early stage.
Milk Vending Machine/on-farm pasteuriser guidance
Guidance is currently being updated in relation to on-farm pasteurisers and this will include a section on milk vending machines, which will take you through the process in detail. It is hoped that this guidance will be widely available in the next few months.
The process you must follow to sell your milk
Prior to applying for approval or registration. it is a recommended you contact your local authority. They can give you specific advice about your plan and take you through the process that needs to be followed to sell milk in your vending machines or to customers/businesses.
The process may include:
Completing a food safety management system document for pasteurising, transporting, and selling the milk
Ensuring the structure, equipment and hygiene of the dairy, churns and vending machines are acceptable
Ensuring the quality of your raw milk is acceptable
Showing that you have carried out microbiological sampling so you can demonstrate your milk is safe to consume.
Registering as a Milk Production Holding
Additionally, if you are using your own milk you must register as a milk production holding if not already done so. You need to register with the Food Standards Agency, not your local council.
Click here to register as a milk production holding. If you are using milk from another farm you should check that they are also registered.
It is advised that you contact Trading Standards at your local Council before starting to sell your milk. They can give you advice about labelling (including allergens) and about making sure the vending machines deliver the correct volumes of milk.
We hope this document provides useful information to your business. Please contact your local Environmental Health team if you require further help and guidance.