What is Food hygiene?

Food hygiene are the conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety of food from production to consumption.

The Food Safety Team is here to ensure that food produced and sold within the Ashfield District is safe to eat. Food Safety legislation is enforced in a wide range of businesses, from corner shops to large supermarkets; from takeaways to large hotel complexes. These pages give guidance to food businesses on how to comply with legislation, as well as advice and assistance to people at home who have questions or problems with food safety.

What do we do?

We provide a food hygiene enforcement and advisory service to ensure the food produced, manufactured, sold and produced in the Ashfield district is hygienically produced and handled and is safe to eat.

This is achieved by carrying out a wide range of co-ordinated pro-active activities and reactive investigations which include the following :-

  • Food hygiene and safety inspections and interventions

  • Investigating complaints about food and food hygiene issues at food establishments

  • Investigating possible cases of food poisoning

  • Providing information, advice and promoting food safety through focused campaigns and/or projects

  • Advising local businesses about food safety issues

  • Liaising with and providing advice and information to new proposed food businesses so that they may comply with food legislation without making expensive mistakes and wasting money

  • Sampling food from food outlets to check that it is safe to eat

Facts and figures

In an average year we will:

  • Carry out programmed inspections and interventions at over 500 food businesses. The vast majority of these businesses are satisfactory, however, in a number of cases, legal notices will be served on business operators requiring them to carry out improvements in the way they manage food safety, to receive food hygiene training themselves and/or their staff, and/or to carry out improvements to their premises, in terms of structure, equipment provision and cleanliness. A small number of food businesses may be closed during the course of an inspection and/or prosecuted because they are a risk to public health. 
  • Submit around 140 food samples to the laboratory for analysis. Where food is found to be borderline/unsatisfactory, action is taken to secure improvements.
  • Investigate complaints about unsatisfactory food or poor hygiene practices at food establishments and make recommendations/take formal action where necessary to secure hygiene improvements.
  • We typically investigate around 70 cases of suspected and confirmed food poisoning each year out of the 200+ notifications that are received. 

Ashfield District Council has adopted the Food Standards Agency's Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme will help you choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, and other places you eat out. Supermarkets and other food shops are also included in the scheme.

The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.

Each business is given a ‘hygiene rating’ when it is inspected by a food safety officer from the business’s local authority. The hygiene rating shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

When you eat out or shop for food, you might see a sticker in the window or on the door, showing you the hygiene rating for that business. Businesses are encouraged to display these stickers and certificates at their premises in a place where you can easily see them when you visit.

 Further information

More detailed information in relation to our work can be found in the Food Service Plan (PDF).

If you require any further information or advice about food safety inspections contact the Food Safety Team.