All food businesses must be registered at least 28 days before opening and any significant changes in the business notified to us. Apply Online
We carry out regular checks on all food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained.
Inspections are carried out, as far as possible, without prior notification and are programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories.
We may also visit following a complaint alleging food poisoning or poor food hygiene practices.
What Do We Inspect?
During an inspection, we will want to reassure ourselves that potential food safety risks have been identified by the business, and that there are adequate controls in place to prevent any problems.
All food businesses must have a written Food Safety Management System based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).
Hazard analysis is a way of thinking logically about what might go wrong with the food being handled and what the business must do to ensure food safety. Hazard analysis helps to prevent problems rather than reacting to them after they have happened.
We will also look at the training of managers and food handlers to ensure that it is suitable, and they will check that the condition of the premises and equipment is satisfactory.
Documented Food Safety Management System
The Food Standards Agency has introduced "Safer Food, Better Business" (SFBB) which is designed to enable smaller food businesses to comply with the hazard analysis requirement. Find out more about Safer Food Better Business
What action can we take if a food premises is not up to the required standard?
Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory, every attempt is made to resolve the situation by informal means, but where poor conditions persist, or where there is a risk to public health it may be necessary to resort to formal action.
This could involve either:
- the service of legal notice
- or, in extreme cases, closure of the business.
Customers who are concerned about the standards in a food business can contact us