Food safety inspections

Food businesses are inspected by food safety officers to make sure they are clean and that food is safe to eat.  Visits may be routine or can be because a complaint has been made. 

What can I expect from an inspection?

  • We will visit your business without an appointment and carry out an inspection
  • We have a right to enter food premises and you are breaking the law if you prevent the inspection
  • We will always introduce ourselves and explain what we are there for
  • During the visit we may visit all areas, talk to anyone working there, take samples, take photographs and if necessary take food
  • We may ask to see paperwork such as Safer Food Better Business (SFBB), training records, pest control reports, receipts
  • At the end you we will talk through the visit.  We will explain what was good and what was not.  For things that need to be put right we will discuss a time limit to get the work done 
  • We will leave you a report or post/email you one later

All unsatisfactory results are investigated and, where necessary, action is taken to prevent risks to health. 

The formal action we can take

  • Give you a report with things to do that are required by law.
  • Serve you with a Hygiene Improvement Notice- this is a legal notice which tells you what is wrong, how to put it right and by when.       
  • Remove food that is unsafe or has something wrong with it.
  • Prosecute you if there are serious things wrong.
  • Close the business immediately if there is a severe problem, for example: the food is not safe, the premise is too dirty or there is a rat problem.

Find out more about food law inspections and your business from The Food Standards Agency (FSA).

National food incidents

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) notify the council of all national food incidents and list them on their website.

Notifications fall into two categories;

  • those which require action by the council to ensure public safety, and
  • those which are just for information and have no immediate cause for concern.

In cases of product withdrawal or recall producers and/or retailers may also issue their own statement advising consumers.