In Singapore, all meat, fish and egg processing establishments, coldstores and slaughter-houses must be licensed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) before they are permitted to carry out any food processing or storage for wholesale distribution.
Specific licensing requirements for pork cutting & deboning establishments
Food processing premises, cold stores and slaughter-houses are preferably located within the area designated as a food zone during land planning. After a site or building is identified, the applicant should check with AVA on the suitability of its location. Site inspection of the proposed premises may be required at this stage. If the site or building is not suitable, applicant will have to source for another location.
If the site or building is suitable, processor should submit layout plan(s) and process flow chart(s) to AVA for evaluation. AVA will assess the proposed plans and provide professional advice to the applicant. The premises must be designed in a manner so as to allow one directional flow to prevent cross-contamination between raw and finished products so as to comply with AVA's food safety requirements.
After the processor has finalised the layout plan(s) with AVA, the processor may proceed to carry out renovation of the premises.
An applicant is required to register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (or ACRA) under the Business Registration Act (Cap. 32); or in the case of a company, incorporated or registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 50).
A copy of the original Instant Business Profile from the ACRA must be submitted to AVA when you apply for the licence.
The processor should formally apply to AVA for a licence as soon as the renovation of the premises has been completed.
An applicant should submit a duly completed application form for the Licence to operate a food processing establishment, Licence to operate a coldstore or Licence to operate a slaughter-house on-line, via, the AVA e-Licensing (FRONTIER) together with the supporting documents (eg: proposed layout plan, list of products, process flows). We will contact the applicant to inspect the premises within 7 working days upon receipt of the application. Any shortcomings and appropriate decision will be conveyed verbally to the applicant during site inspection. An official letter will inform the applicant on the outcome of the application. Uncompleted premises would most likely be rejected.
An application fee of S$157.50 (inclusive of 7% GST) will be levied on any new application made. This application fee will cover the evaluation of floor plans and process flow charts. It will also include a joint site inspection of the completed premises by the Licensing Section with the applicant to ensure compliance with AVA's requirements before a licence is issued. You will be prompted for the payment during your submission for licence application via e-Licensing.
Payment for subsequent annual licence fee through InterBank GIRO is strongly encouraged. Please note that for non-giro customers, payment via AXS station is now available. For more details, please click here.Renewal notices will be sent to customers prior to the expiry of their licences for payment via AXS stations.
The annual fees for the following licences are:
- Licence to operate a meat or fish processing establishment or cold store - S$260.00
- Licence to operate an egg processing establishment - S$180.00 (S), S$360.00 (M) or S$600.00 (L)
- Licence to operate a meat or fish processing establishment where meat or fish products in containers are hermetically sealed and thereafter preserved by subjection to heat treatment - S$840.00
- Licence to operate a slaughter-house for poultry - S$1000.00
- Licence to operate a new slaughter-house for livestock - S$4000.00
- Licence to operate a slaughter-house for livestock (renewal) - S$1575.00
All licensed food processing premises, cold stores and slaughterhouses would be subject to regular inspections by AVA to ensure that the food produced are safe and fit for human consumption.
AVA conducts regular, scheduled and unannounced inspections at all AVA-licensed food processing establishments, coldstores and slaughter-houses. The frequency of checks depends on the sanitary conditions of the premises. Areas of checks would include the general cleanliness and hygiene of the premises and workers; documentation and status of rectification of the shortcomings observed in earlier inspection visits. AVA also provides advices on GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) and food safety programmes such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point). In addition, AVA may collect samples from the licensed establishments for laboratory examination.
All workers handling exposed food are required to be examined and found medically healthy by a medical practitioner. For a copy of the medical report form, please click here.
Under the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act and the Sale of Food Act, AVA has the legal power to take enforcement action against any licensee of food processing establishments, cold stores and slaughter-houses for violating AVA's food safety regulations.
All food establishments (including meat/fish/egg processing establishments, cold stores, slaughter-houses and processed food establishments) in Singapore are categorised into four grades: A (Excellent), B (Good), C (Average) and D (Pass) based on their food hygiene and food safey standards. Each establishment will be graded prior to the expiry of its licence and reassessed annually.
Food establishments are graded with the aim to enable food manufacturers to be aware of their hygiene and food safety standards and the need for improvements. It creates an environment for food manufacturers to upgrade to strive for higher grades. The grading system also allows identification of the lower grade establishments so that more regulatory efforts could be directed at them. Grade C and D establishments are inspected more frequently than Grade A and B establishments.
You may wish to refer to the Food Establishment Inspection Checklist for the list of criteria used to assess the grading of food establishments.
Food establishments are graded based on a set of criteria covering all aspects of hygiene and food safety standards. The criteria include:
- Premises - General cleanliness and housekeeping
- Food Storage
- Food Processing Equipment and Facilities
- Pest Control Program
- Food Handling and Staff Facilities
- Product Identification and Traceability
- Dispatch & Transport
- Product Inspection and Lab Testing
- Foreign Body Control
- Management of Allergen
- Implementation of Quality Control Programs
- Staff Competency and Food Hygiene Training
- Documentation and Records
- Violation Records
For cold stores that are licensed solely for the storage of meat and/or fish products, the Cold Store/Warehouse Inspection Checklist will be used to assess the grading of these cold stores.
Grade A Grade B Grade C Grade D
[For a listing of all food establishments (including meat/fish/egg processing establishments, cold stores, slaughter-houses and processed food establishments) categorised according to their grades, please click on the respective grade above. For food establishments that are newly licensed and pending grading assessment, please click here. The lists will be updated on a quarterly basis.]