Food Premises Inspections and Food Standards Inspections
The purpose of food hygiene inspections is to find out if food is being handled and produced hygienically; is safe to eat; and to identify factors which have the potential to cause food poisoning or injury. Food businesses in the Dundee area include manufacturers, hotels, restaurants, takeaways, cafes, retail shops, fishmongers, butchers etc.
Some food premises and businesses present a higher risk to the consumer depending on the nature of the food prepared and the food safety measures in place. We will often deal with any minor breaches in an informal manner. If contraventions are more serious, or there is an immediate health risk, then there is a range of formal procedures that can be used if necessary.
Premises are rated in a scheme of priority classification. This is used to determine the relative extent of risk presented by food businesses and from this a minimum frequency of inspection is established.
When can an authorised officer enter food premises?
An authorised officer has a right to enter a food premises at all reasonable hours and whenever the premises is in operation on producing, if so required, proof of his or her authority.
• To identify contraventions of and ensure compliance with food safety legislation
• To identify potential risks arising from the activities carried out in the food business and ensure that appropriate controls have been developed and are being properly implemented
• To offer advice about good food hygiene practices
At the completion of the inspection, the officer will write a report for the food business operator detailing any matters which were apparent at the time of the visit and which will require attention.
The report will specify and distinguish between those matters that are required by law and those representing good practice.
Depending on the nature of the issues found an officer may take the following courses of action to ensure compliance or protect public safety.
• Verbal advice
• A letter or informal notice
• A hygiene improvement notice
• A hygiene prohibition order (which can close the premises)
• A prosecution
• Suspect foodstuffs may also be seized or detained
The appropriate course of action will depend on the circumstances found and past history. Reference is also made to the division's enforcement policy.
The frequency of inspections of food premises is based on an assessment of their risk. Some food premises will present a higher risk to the public than others. This is dependent upon a number of factors such as the type of business, the nature of the food, the degree of food handling and the number of customers that are at risk.
Those premises posing a higher risk to the consumer will be inspected more frequently then those premises with a lower risk.
Food premises are inspected within a range of at least every six months to at least every five years. These are only guideline frequencies and can be varied where appropriate.