We do regular inspections of more than 900 food outlets across the borough.

To do this we have the right to enter and inspect food premises at any reasonable time.

We don't have to make an appointment and we'll usually come without advance notice.

The purpose of the inspection is

  • To establish whether food is being handled and produced hygienically
  • To establish whether food is safe to eat
  • To identify foreseeable incidences of food poisoning or injury as a consequence of consumption of food

As part of our inspections we can:

  • Take samples and photographs, and inspect records. You must not stop us from doing this.
  • Write to you asking to put right any problems we find. Where breaches of the law are identified, which must be put right, we may serve a Hygiene Improvement Notice.
  • Detain or seize foods

In serious cases we may decide to recommend a prosecution. If the prosecution is successful, the Court may impose prohibitions on processes and the use of premises or equipment, fines and possibly prison. If there is an imminent health risk to the public we can serve an Emergency Prohibition Notice that forbids the use of the premises or equipment. The Courts must confirm such a notice.