How does the inspection work?
We carry out food safety inspection that cover both food hygiene and food standards aspects in order to:
- identify and prevent risks to public health,
- ensure food is not presented in a way that misleads the consumer.
- investigate possible breaches of food hygiene and food standards legislation and take action as necessary to get businesses legally compliant,
- offer advice about good practice.
Food Safety Officers have a right to enter and inspect food premises at all reasonable hours without making an appointment and usually come without advance notice.
The frequency of our visits varies between every 6 months to every 3 years depending on the type of business and your previous food safety record.
Officers are authorised to inspect the premises, inspect food, examine records (including computerised records), they can seize or detain food, take samples and photographs to be used as evidence.
After the Inspection
Once they have completed their inspection, the inspecting officer will discuss findings with the person in charge of the premises. They will produce a report and send it to the business operator (usually within 14 days).
The report will outline all areas in which the business is failing to comply with food safety legislation. It will also outline what action the business operator needs to take in order to be fully compliant with the law.
Included with the report will be the food hygiene rating the business has achieved (where appropriate).
What happens next?
Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory we will try to work with the business to help them improve standards and comply with food safety law. However, if conditions are not improved or there is a risk to public health we may need to serve the business operator with a statutory notice. Failure to comply with a notice is an offence that, on conviction, could lead to a fine or imprisonment.
If an inspection shows that a business needs to carry out work to improve standards, a single or several follow up visits my be needed. Your food hygiene rating will not change after these visits unless you have applied for a re-rating.