There are over 950 registered food premises in Erewash. These range from small corner shops to food manufacturers. The frequency of our visit depends on the risk rating of the business and takes into account the type of food handled, the types and number of consumer, management and condition of the premises and any complaints received.
All food premises in the Borough are inspected for food hygiene compliance by the Food Health and Safety Team of Environmental Health. More information can be found in the current FHS Team Service Plan.
What happens during an inspection
The officer will explain why the inspection is being made - whether it is following a complaint or is a routine inspection. An inspection includes:
Checking the food premises to ensure the condition and fabric of all the food rooms meets the required standards.
Ensuring good hygiene standards are being maintained by asking questions, interview members of staff, taking temperatures of food and/or equipment food and watching food being prepared.
Checking that paperwork relating to receipts, temperature records, hazard analysis, cleaning schedules, refuse contracts and pest control records are in place and up to date .
Discussing with the food business operator the steps they are taking to control any potential food safety hazards and that controls are being followed by food handlers. This is referred to as hazard analysis and is an important part of the legislation.
In performing our duties we follow Codes of Practice and guidance issued by The Food Standards Agency. We also follow our own internal quality procedures and have a Council wide enforcement policy which explains how we make decisions when enforcing the law. We also liaise locally with neighbouring authorities through the Derbyshire Food Liaison Group which aims to ensure consistent enforcement of food safety issues.
After the inspection
After inspecting a premises, the officer will discuss the findings and answer any queries, clarifying the legal requirements, and making recommendations for improvement. They will discuss time scales within which any work needed should be completed. Following the visit written reports are provided which give advice and clearly distinguish between legal requirements and recommendations of good practice. In some cases another visit may be needed to check that any problems found have been sorted out.
Powers of the officers
Officers have a right to enter and inspect food premises at all reasonable hours. They do not have to make an appointment and will usually come without advance notice. Officers also have the power to take samples, photographs and inspect records and may take food they suspect to be unsafe. As a result of inspections an officer may recommend prosecution or serve hygiene improvement notices on the food business operator to secure an improvement in standards.
If there is an imminent risk to consumers, officers may serve a hygiene emergency prohibition notice, which forbids the use of processes, premises or equipment. This notice must be confirmed by a court.
Food sampling makes a contribution to the protection of public health and the food law enforcement functions. Sampling is used as part of a planned approach to gather information about the microbiological quality and possible presence of harmful micro-organisms in particular foods which are produced and/or sold/used locally. Based on this information appropriate action can be taken to protect the consumer.
We have a Sampling Policy which outlines our general approach to sampling and its approach to sampling in specific situations such as inspections, complaints and coordinated programmes etc. More information can be found in our Food Sampling Policy.
Merlin House, Merlin Way, Ilkeston. DE74RA
Tel: 0115 907 2244 ext 3820