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Setting up Food Establishments / Food Manufacturers in Singapore

SFA regulates all food processing, and storage establishments. A licence from SFA is required before you can carry out any food processing or storage for wholesale distribution.

Food processing establishments where food is manufactured, processed, prepared or packed for the purpose of distribution to wholesalers and retailers are licensed by SFA. These food processing establishments include bakery and flour confectionery factories, dairy processing plants, noodles and pasta manufacturers, surimi-based products factories and, etc. Slaughter-houses and cold stores that are used for storage of meat and/or fish products are also licensed by SFA . Food retail businesses, such as restaurants, cafes, snack bars, supermarkets, mobile food wagons and food caterers are licensed by SFA as well. You must get a licence from SFA if you are:

  • Setting up a food processing establishment

  • Setting up a cold store

  • Setting up a slaughter-house

You must be registered with SFA if you are setting up a food storage warehouse.

Application Process

A food processing establishment licence is required if you are carrying out any processing activities to the food products.

A food processing establishment which is carrying out processing of meat and/or seafood products falls under “Meat and/or Fish processing establishment”. Other manufacturing activities including central kitchen and repacking of food products falls under “Other Processed Food". If you are storing meat and seafood products without any processing activities, a coldstore licence is required.

All food processing establishments, cold stores and slaughterhouses have to comply with the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act, Sale of Food Act and the licensing conditions.

Conditions of licensing:

  • Condition of licensing for other processed food

  • Conditions of licensing for meat, fish and egg processing establishments and cold stores

  • Conditions of licensing for poultry slaughterhouses

  • Conditions of licensing for Pig slaughterhouses

Step 1: Check suitability of premise's location

Food processing premises, cold stores and slaughterhouses should be located within a food zone area. If the site or building is found unsuitable, you will have to source for another location.

Step 2: Apply to SFA for a licence

Apply to SFA for a licence once the site is suitable. The following documents are required for SFA’s preliminary evaluation.

  • Layout plan

  • Process flow chart

  • Particular of products

SFA will contact you upon receiving the application. SFA will assess the proposed plans and provide professional advice. The premises must be designed in a way that allows one directional flow to prevent cross-contamination between raw and finished products in compliance with SFA's food safety requirements.

Any shortcomings and appropriate decision will be conveyed verbally during the site inspection. The submitted proposal will be evaluated and an approval notification will be sent to you for commencement of renovation works once the documents are in order.

Step 3: Final Inspection

You will be required to contact SFA upon completion of renovation. A final inspection will be carried out at the premises before issuance of licence. Any non-conformances at this stage will affect the licence approval.

The following additional documents are to be submitted during the final inspection:

Type of programme

Maintenance programme - Programme to include maintenance procedures. Draw up schedules for maintaining all equipment, fitting, building and work areas.

Cleaning and sanitation programme - It should include these areas and items:

  • equipment to be cleaned

  • frequency of cleaning

  • method of cleaning

  • staff responsible for each specific task

  • monitoring arrangements

Waste management - Draw up a waste management plan. Waste material should be handled in a manner that avoids contamination to food. To prevent accumulation, waste should be removed from food handling areas frequently and at least once daily. Waste storage facilities, receptacles and equipment should also be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Pest control programme - It has to be both an effective and continuous program for control of pests. Control measures involving treatment with chemical, physical or biological agents should only be undertaken by or under the direct supervision of a qualified personnel.

Transportation of finished products - To include details of the mode of transport for the finished products – the internal construction and the temperature setting of the compartment of the vehicle. All finished products should be transported in covered vehicles under appropriate conditions to prevent deterioration or contamination to the products.

Personal particulars and academic experience of the appointed hygiene officer - Officer must be trained and qualified in food hygiene. Responsibilities include overseeing plant sanitation, good hygiene practices and other matters concerning food safety.

Particulars of food handlers - Food production employees (refers to personnel engaged in supervising the preparation of any food in a food establishment).

Leased (tenancy) agreement - A copy of the leased (tenancy) agreement of the premises (if applicable) is required

Step 4 : Licence Approval

After the application for the new licence has been approved you will be able to print the licence online upon payment of the licence fee . The details of the approved activities will be printed on the licence.

Fees & Charges

You have to pay an application fee of S$157.50 (inclusive of 7% GST) for any new application made for food processing, cold store and slaughter-house licence.

The application fee covers:

  • evaluation of floor plans and process flow chart

  • a joint site inspection of the completed premises with the Licensing to ensure it complies with SFA's requirements before a licence can be issued

For registration of food storage warehouse, the application it is currently free.

If you would like to know more, please contact Bestar.

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