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Food hygiene inspections

Environmental Health Officers have the right to enter and inspect food premises without having to make an appointment or giving advance notice.

The frequency of our visits depends on:

  • what type of food is handled
  • people at risk
  • how the business is managed
  • the condition of the premises
  • any complaints we receive

What happens during an inspection?

We may take samples of food, photographs, and we will inspect records relating to food safety. We may take food that we suspect is unsafe.

As a result of an inspection we may recommend prosecution or impose prohibitions on the business as a whole, or on a process or a piece of equipment used in the business.

If the public are at risk, we will serve a hygiene emergency prohibition notice, which effectively closes your business 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.

At the end of the inspection you will be scored – the score determines how often you will be inspected in the future and decides your score for the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.