12 Apr

EC Approval Codes, an EC number or a Health Mark

An EC Approval, also known as an EC number and a Health Mark is something that you will be required to have on certain types of products and the processes associated with those products.  You will have most commonly seen EC approval codes on meat carcasses in butcher’s shops, in meat cutting plants, on cartons of milk and on all egg boxes and actually the eggs themselves these days.

But did you know that when handing and/or packing the following products and also certain processes associated with these products your business will also require EC approval?

Fish handling and packing, Milk products, Eggs products and packing, Cooked Meats, Raw meat cutting, mincing, sausages and other meat handling processes to name a few.

If you require an approval code, your local EHO or Food Standards Agency Officer will tell you before long. You will be unable to trade without it and to do so you would be breaking the law and liable for prosecution.

Obtaining an EC approval code is not easy but it can be more straightforward once you know what is required of you and your food business. Unlike other food safety legislation, the standards required to obtain a health mark are very specific and your application for approval is strictly timed at months from application to completion. Failure to produce the necessary evidence of compliance within this timeframe will render your application invalid, and you will have to start the process again.

At HACCP Answers we understand the requirements of obtaining an EC approval number and then implementing the necessary systems, procedures and disciplines, within the time period allowed, to obtain your EC approval code.  We understand, perhaps most importantly, that you are unable to trade without and could be haemorrhaging money…….

HACCP Answers can then assist you to maintain your code’s compliance.  Inspected on an annual basis by either your local EHO, your Food Standards Agency Officer, often as a joint visit.  Either or both of these officers can remove your approval code if they inspect after it has been awarded and you are failing to comply with the requirements of your EC approval code.  You will not receive notice, or a period to bring your premises back to standard; your approval will be removed immediately, leaving you unable to trade, effectively closing your business.  To regain your approval, you will need to begin the approval process again.  Therefore its pretty important that you get it right and continue to maintain it!

We have saved other food business operations from having to cease trading forever, when this has happened to them.  We showed them how to improve and then maintain their standards so that their EC Approval code was again awarded to them.

Using our ongoing support, you will gain and then keep your EC Approval code for as long as you require it.