Environmental health officers have a right to enter and inspect food premises without having to make an appointment or give advanced notice. The frequency of our visits depends on:
- the type of food that is handled;
- people at risk;
- how the business is managed;
- the condition of the premises or;
- any complaints that we have received.
What happens during an inspection visit?
We will take samples, photographs and inspect records and take food we suspect is unsafe. As a result, we may recommend prosecution or impose prohibitions on the business, process or equipment. If the public are at risk, we will serve a hygiene emergency prohibition notice, which effectively closes your establishment down.
We will make recommendations for improvement and discuss timescales within which you must complete the work and give you details of any follow up visits to check on your progress.
If you think the outcome is unfair, you have a right of appeal to a magistrate's court againast a hygiene improvement notice. A magistrate must confirm an emergency closure of a business or seizure of food. If it is decided that a premise has been shut without proper reason or food has been wrongly taken away, you have a right to compensation.