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The regulations made under the Food Safety Act 1990 aim to make sure all food offered to the public is safe to eat. Our Environmental Health officers are responsible for checking Food Safety and Hygiene in line with the act.

Who will inspect your business?

Our Environmental Health Officers or Food Safety Officers have the right to inspect food premises at all reasonable hours. They do not have to make an appointment. They will carry out routine inspections or may visit as a result of a complaint. Premises may be inspected as often as once every six months if the product produced or handled is "high risk". Some small retailers may only be inspected once every five years.

Inspectors can take samples, photographs and inspect records.

They may write to the proprietor of the food business formally requesting any problems they find to be put right. Where obvious contraventions of the law are found, which must be put right immediately, they may serve an improvement notice.

They can detain or seize foods and in serious cases, they may recommend that a prosecution be instituted. If this is successful, we may impose prohibition on the premises and equipment and fines and possible imprisonment may ensue.

If there is an imminent risk, health inspectors can serve an emergency prohibition notice which forbids the use of the premises. This notice must be confirmed by the court.

What can you do if you think the outcome is unfair?

First contact the Environmental Health Team Leader to ascertain if the problem can be resolved informally. If no agreement can be reached, the matter can be referred to the Head of the Service or your Councillor.

Remember; your local authority is ready to help if you need any advice on food safety issues. Please Contact us about food safety and hygiene.


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