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Food Hygiene Inspections

What can you expect?

The Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 give authorised officers the right to enter and inspect all food premises at all reasonable hours. This can mean inspections being carried out in the evening if that is when your business is open. Officers do not have to make appointments to inspect. Visits may either be planned as part of the routine inspection programme or be made to investigate a complaint e.g. an allegation of food poisoning or that food has been sold contained foreign material. The frequency of planned inspections depends very much on the potential risk posed by your type of business, the level of hygiene, structure, management control and the previous record. Some food premises may be visited at least every 6 months, others may be visited less frequently.

Officers will be looking for evidence that you have put in place, implemented and maintained a permanent procedure based on HACCP Principles. The system favoured by the Food Standards Agency is Safer Food Better Business. Much of the inspection will focus on the hazards and controls you have identified and how you are monitoring practices on a day to day basis.

You are entitled to expect that Officers will:

  • be courteous
  • show you official identification
  • give feedback following the inspection on what can be done to improve hygiene and also what practices and hygiene management systems are working well
  • make a clear distinction between what is required by law and what is recommended as good practice
  • give written reasons explaining any action they will be taking including the relevant section of the Act or Regulation
  • give you a reasonable time to comply with any legal requirements unless the matter is of serious risk to Public Safety where a more immediate solution maybe required
  • tell you the procedure for appealing against their action or requesting a second opinion

We can offer you advice and assistance on Food Safety and wish to work in partnership with local food businesses to protect the public.

At the conclusion of the inspection we will leave a handwritten Food Hygiene Inspection Report which details any works which are necessary. A rating or score for the business is provided which is used to calculate when the next intervention will be undertaken. Details of this scoring system are provided here: adobe icon Food Hygiene Inspection Rating Guidance Notes [79kb].

For more information contact us: Environmental Health

Updated: 30 Apr 2018
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