Food Safety Officers carry out regular inspections of all food premises trading within the borough to ensure that the public is protected; that high standards of food hygiene are maintained and ultimately that food is safe to eat. All businesses that manufacture, pack, store, supply or sell food (including drink) will be subject to an inspection.
Inspection of premises can take place at any reasonable time with or without prior notice. Occasionally we may make appointments for visits. If a Food Safety Officer calls they will show you their identification and authorisation, which you are entitled to see.
Food Safety Officers have a right to enter the premises at any reasonable time or when they suspect there may be a particular problem. They are entitled to assistance and to have their questions answered. During the visit they are legally entitled to talk to employees, take samples (see below), photographs and if necessary seize or detain food. Obstructing a food safety officer is an offence.
Officers may ask to see documentation such as HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) assessments, Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) documents, temperature records, training records, pest control records or cleaning schedules, which should be kept available at the premises for inspection.
At the end of the inspection the officer will inform you of their findings and what further action, if any, they will be taking and what you need to do. They will discuss with you the time allowed for complying with the law. Generally, you will be given a reasonable period of time to improve standards although some requirements may demand your immediate attention. You will usually be given a report of the inspection at the time or a copy may be left on site for you. Occasionally a letter will be sent to confirm the inspection and report on the findings.