During an inspection of a food business premises an Environmental Health Officer/Food Officer audits and inspects premises in accordance with the Food Law Code of Practice and Food Law Practice Guidance.
The aim is to make sure Food Business Operators and their staff are meeting legal Food Hygiene and Safety requirements and that the food they are producing/selling (or even gifting as a sample) is safe for customers to eat.
To do this the officer(s) will talk to a business owner, a manager and staff about their activities and how they manage food safety. They will also look at the establishments Food Safety documentation as well as assessing the structure of the premises. During the course of the inspection the officer(s) may take photographs, samples or swabs: if they do this they should explain why they are doing this.
To be able to issue an accurate food hygiene rating, the EHO will want to evaluate the following points below.
They must be confident in the food businesses ability to manage a food business and their understanding of Food Safety management and the risks involved.
The EHO will ask staff about any quality control systems and practices and will ask questions to establish their undertsanding of risks and how to control them
The EHO will look at every part of the premises and equipment
The EHO will ask about staff training, controlling hazards and temperature control
The EHO may want to see the businesses recipes, their Food Saftey Management Systems, maintenance and production records, temperature records and staff sickness records too. (All these documentsshould be referred to in the Premises Food Saftey Management System , such as Safer Food Better Business or similar)
They might also take photographs, samples and swabs from the premises
Environmental Health and Food Officers work to the guidelines of the Food Safety Code of Practice when conducting hygiene inspections.
They use Food Safety legislation (Regulation (EC) 852/2004) to determine
Our job is to make sure that your food hygiene standards meet legal requirements and your food is safe to eat. To do that they’ll look at:
How hygienically is food prepared, cooked, reheated, cooled and stored?
How much does the unit’s structure lend itself to food hygiene? i.e. Do the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation etc. aid hygienic food handling?
Can the policies and systems laid out in the Food Saftey Management System ensure that food safety will always be maintained?
There are a number of actions an Environmental Health and Food Officer can take if they find contraventions of food hygiene legislation in a catering business.
Dependent on the seriousness of the issue, they might:
Where formal Notices have been served: the recipient of the Notices (usually be the person registered as the food business operator or owner of the premises) must take immediate steps to comply with the Notice.
They must keep the EHO up-to-date with any progress and contact the Environmental Health Department immediately if they are unable to comply with the requirments on the Notice within the specified time period.