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 very serious problem e.g. the food is not safe/ the premise is too dirty/ there is a rat problem
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.