What is Food Safety?

Food Safety describes preparation, handling and the storage of food to prevent us from foodborne diseases


Legislation make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health and places a responsibility on all businesses to carry out their activities in a hygienic way. The Councils' Food  team carries out regular checks on all food establishments within the district of Ashfield to assess whether that food is produced hygienically, in line with food safety legislation.
Food Hygiene inspections and intervention checks are performed without prior notification - during the daytime, evenings and weekends - at any time when food businsses are operating unless it is a caterer operating from a private/domestic address when we must give 24 hours notice.
To maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of Council resources and in order to minimise any burden on our businesses,  low risk businesses receive lighter touch visits  and this allows us to target  resources at higher risk and non compliant establishments to drive up hygiene standards at those businesses.

How Environmental Health Officers protect Public Health

During a Food Hygiene inspection, Environmental Health Officers must reassure themselves that potential food safety risks have been identified by the business, that there are adequate controls in place to prevent any thing going wrong with food production and records of monitoring of checks made to ensure food is produced hygenically are kept.

The Officers will also assess suitability of training received by managers and food handlers to ensure that they are capable of hygenic food production and handling. Food handlers should be appropriately trained, instructed and supervised to carry out their work duties and responsibilities. See here

Officers will check that the condition and cleanliness of the premises and equipment is satisfactory and that an adequate supply of hot and cold running water and cleaning materials are available in order to maintain a high standard.

Officers will check that the structure of the premises is clean, in good condition, and that suitable equipment is provided for handling, preparing and storing food.

Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory; Officers will attempt to resolve the situation by informal means where appropriate.

Where poor conditions persist, or where there is a risk to public health it may be necessary to resort to formal action. This could involve either the service of legal notice, prosecution, or in extreme cases closure of the business.