Food Safety Registry, what is it?
The Food Safety Registry, or more correctly the General Health Registry of Food Companies and Foodstuffs, is regulated by Royal Decree 191/2011 of 18 February, which has the purpose of protecting public health and the interests of consumers and to facilitate the official supervision of businesses and establishments subject to registration.
This health registry is nationwide and public, in such a way that all persons can access it and check whether or not a specific business is registered.
Who should register in the Health Food Register?
Any establishments pertaining to food companies or the companies themselves have to be entered in the Food Safety Registry if they meet the following requirements:
1st.- That the headquarters of the establishment, or if there is no establishment the headquarters or registered address, is on Spanish territory.
2.- That the company’s activity involves:
- Foodstuffs or food products intended for human consumption.
- Materials and objects intended for being in contact with food.
- Technological additives used in making foodstuffs.
3.- That it performs any of the following actions:
- production, processing, making and/or packaging,
- storage and/or distribution and/or transport,
- importation of products from other countries not belonging to the EU
If the company exclusively manipulates, processes, packs, stores or serves food for its sale to the end consumer, it does not need to be entered in the Food Safety Registry.However, it will have to register in the retail business registries of each Autonomous Region.
What does the Food Safety Registry number mean
The general health registry number is only used for identifying the business administratively. The company has no obligation to use this number on the label.
The registry’s territorial scope does not differentiate in terms of the official supervisory guarantees over them exerted by the competent authority. Additionally, having this food safety registry identification number does not exempt the company from complying with all legal requirements established by the legislation.
The only condition needed for processing the registration in the general health registry is to submit a prior notification to the health authorities of the Autonomous Community where the company has its address.
This notification should include the denomination or business name, the Tax ID Number or Code as applicable, the purpose of all the activities the company will be carrying out and the headquarters of the establishment or the registered address if it does not have an establishment.
Once this documentation has been received, the Autonomous Region will report it to the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN), which will proceed to the registration and to assigning the identification number.
Given that each Autonomous Region has its own rules, depending on where we submit the documentation they may make further requests. Thus, for example, there are Autonomous Regions where it is mandatory to submit a brief report explaining the activities about to be undertaken, the products that will be sold, a list of suppliers, etc.
In this regard, it should be kept in mind that if this information is not available, it will not be mandatory to provide it unless a particular rule pertaining to that Autonomous Region stipulates it.
It is important to keep in mind that once we apply for inscription in the Food Safety Registry, we will probably receive a visit from an inspectorto check and analyze our business and activity.Leading up to this visit, we must be prepared to comply with all legal requirements, which basically are:
– To have the technical documentation in place: self-monitoring system or hazard analysis and critical control points system (HACCP).
– To ensure that all the products we have meet the legal and technical requirements in regard to their composition and to the product labels.
– If we are working with food supplements, that they are properly notified.
This basic information will have to be provided in the event of an inspector’s visit even if as a company headquarters we are using a rented office or workspace, virtual offices, etc. In the last case, we have to prepare the person who is physically there so that when the inspector arrives they can provide the basic information and we can demonstrate that the company is actually there.
In this regard, take care not to give an address occupied by persons who are completely unaware of the activity or an address that is empty, because in such cases the inspector will take the company off the food safety registry.
At LegaleGo Nutrition, as a food safety consultancy specialized in food supplements, we take care of all the necessary actions to properly enter the business in the Food Safety Registry, helping at all times to make the inspector’s visit confirmatory and satisfactory for all parties.