Food hygiene inspections

Environmental health officers have a right to enter and inspect food premises without having to make an appointment or give advance notice.

The frequency of our visits varies between every 6 months and every 3 years, depending on the type of business and your previous hygiene record.

We may also visit you following a complaint from a member of the public.

What happens during an inspection?

We usually carry out inspections without prior notice, at any reasonable time when your business is likely to be operating (including evenings and weekends where appropriate).

We will look at the way you operate your business to identify any potential hazards, and to make sure it complies with the law. We may take samples, photographs and inspect records, and take food we suspect is unsafe.

We will discuss any problems with you, and make recommendations for improvement. We will also discuss timescales within which you must complete the work, and give you details of any follow up visits to check on your progress.

What happens next?

Immediately after inspecting your premises, we will discuss our findings with you. If you need to make some improvements we will explain what you need to do to comply with the law. We will also give you some advice on any general improvements you can make.

You will usually receive a premises inspection report at the time of the inspection, or an inspection report letter which will be sent to you shortly after, within 14 days at the latest. The report will give details of what you need to do.

In some cases we may need to visit you again, to make sure that improvements are being made. If there is a problem with making the required improvements within the timescale you’ve been given, you should contact us to discuss this.