Food and Safety Officers carry out regular checks on all food premises in the districts to ensure that public are protected and that high standards are maintained.
Visits to premises are carried out, as far as possible, without prior notification and are priority programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories.
You can use this online form to make a genuine complaint about hygiene standards in a food establishment. Your details will remain confidential and we will handle any personal information in line with the Data Protection Act.
Inspections tend to focus initially on the premises’ food safety management system (for example, Safer Food Better Business). The officer will check the documentation, and then make sure that it is being implemented during the physical inspection of the premises by observation and discussions with staff. During an inspection, officers will want to reassure themselves that potential food safety risks have been identified by the business, and that there are adequate controls in place to prevent any problems. They will also look at the training of managers and employees to ensure that it is suitable, and they will check that the condition of the premises and equipment is satisfactory.
Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory, every attempt will be 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, prosecution, or in extreme cases closure of the business.
The investigation of complaints concerning standards in food premises, unfit or contaminated food is a further aspect of the Team's work. These are usually resolved by giving advice to the proprietor or manufacturer, but in certain circumstances formal action may be taken, either in the form of a formal caution or prosecution. For more information on what to do if you have a food complaint, see the Food Complaints page.