Food Safety Inspections and Ratings
Environmental Health Officers and Environmental Health Technical Officers have the right to enter and inspect premises at all reasonable times. We do not have to make an appointment and we will usually come without advance notice. This will enable us to make a reasonable assessment of the premises and practices. We may take samples and photographs and may also inspect your records. It is a serious offence to obstruct an officer in the course of his or her duty. In the case of residential premises, however, you have the right to refuse entry unless twenty four hours notice has been given in writing and we will usually make an appointment to visit.
Where officers have a reasonable suspicion that entry may be refused or that giving notice of entry would defeat the object of the exercise, they can apply to a Magistrate for a warrant to enter the premises using reasonable force if necessary.
You can always expect us to be courteous and we will always show you our identification.
You are likely to meet Environmental Health Officers or Technical Officers in one of four ways:
- During an inspection of your premises
- When we are investigating a complaint
- When you seek a licence from us
- When you seek our advice or assistance
The Council follows the Code of Practice issued by the Food Standards Agency and the frequency of programmed visits is based on the risks from the business, including the type of food prepared and sold, the structure, practices and the measures the business has introduced to keep food safe. Most food business are given a rating based on these risks, which can be found on the national database ratings.food.gov.uk. The rating is based on the initial programmed inspection and not the conditions after any works have been carried out, giving consumers a good indication of how well the business has been maintained between inspections.