Food, hygiene and safety
The Food Standards Agency is the national agency responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK. The Council is responsible for regulating food hygiene in food businesses and we have a programmed inspections process for food premises to ensure that hygienic standards are being maintained. We also take routine samples of food for analysis both as a part of national programmes and more local initiatives to ensure food safety and compliance with legal standards. Occasionally we have to take enforcement action to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained.
Our approach is to work with businesses to raise standards and we will give advice and assistance to food business operators. We provide food hygiene training courses to help businesses develop their staff and achieve and maintain a positive food hygiene rating. The frequency of inspection is determined by risk assessment and visits are usually made without prior warning. Most businesses are given a food hygiene rating following the inspection; this gives an indication of the standards of hygiene found at the time of the inspection.
We investigate complaints from members of the public about poor conditions of hygiene in food premises, allegations of suspected incidents of food poisoning, contamination and quality issues.