Food Safety legislation, requires you to implement and document effective food safety controls and ensure that food is produced safely so that the health of your customers is not put at risk.
Other controls include:
- Premises kept clean and in a good state of repair
- Good drainage, lighting and ventilation
- Sufficient waste disposal facilities
- Toilet facilities for staff
- Equipment is in good condition and kept clean
- Permanent arrangements for pest control which guard against infestation by rats, mice, flies, cockroaches and other insects.
- An effective cleaning routine
- Staff who are appropriately clothed and trained and have good personal hygiene habits
- Arrangements for ensuring that all foods received into the premises are in good condition
- Handling, storage and transport practices which meet temperature control requirements and avoid contamination
You must identify potential hazards associated with your business and introduce practices which will control the risks and to ensure food safety. An example of this type of system is Safer Food Better Business (SFBB).
Further information can be obtained from the Food Standards Agency and from this downloadable guide.
Guidance is available specifically for new businesses here.
If you have any questions not answered in these pages please contact the commercial team for your area.
Food business inspections
What happens when your food business is inspected?
Food Inspectors will usually come without warning and do not have to make an appointment. We will usually visit during opening hours; this is so we can observe your business operating.
During the inspection, we will look around all areas of your business and if possible, watch how food is handled. We may also wish to take samples or photographs and may want to look at your records.
We will discuss any problems we find with you and advise on possible solutions.
What happens after a business is inspected?
We will normally write to you informally asking you to put right any problems found. We will be clear about what is a legal requirement and what is a recommendation of good practice.
We will allow you a reasonable time to make improvement to meet the statutory requirements. Where food hygiene is poor, an Improvement Notice may be served.
If an immediate public health risk is found we may serve an Emergency Prohibition Notice, which forbids the use of the premises or equipment – this notice must be confirmed by a court. We may also detain or seize food.
In very serious cases we will prosecute. A successful prosecution could lead to a fine, or in some cases imprisonment for the business operator. The court can prohibit a person from running a food business or using a premises for a food business.
How often will a business be inspected?
This will depend on the potential risk posed by the type of business and its previous record. Some premises may be inspected at least every six months, others less often.