As part of our continued commitment to public safety, the Food Safety Team within Environmental Health, carry out detailed inspections and audits of all types of businesses where food is prepared and sold within the area, to ensure that they are fully compliant with UK and European Community law.
As an integral part of the inspection all officers ensure that there is an effective food safety management system in place, that food handlers are trained and that hygiene and structural standards are being maintained to a high level.
All food business operators must register their establishments under the EC regulations, and some businesses may be subject to approval. These include those handling and producing items such as dairy, meat, fish, eggs and meat products.
The European Community food safety laws specify certain safety standards for the processing and sale of food. It is an offence for anyone to process or sell food which is harmful to health. The regulations also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way and that good structural standards are in place. Running a food business means that you have a particular responsibility to protect the health of your customers.
The Food Safety Team also investigates reported cases of food poisoning, explores complaints about unfit food, and also promotes healthy living programmes.
We will respond to complaints within three working days. In urgent food complaints or serious food poisoning incidents, we will endeavour to respond within one working day.
We will give clear advice and may provide written details of action we have taken in response to your complaint. Where adequate standards are not being maintained, improvement will be required and where necessary will be enforced by law.
The Food Standards Agency issues food alerts to alert local authorities and the public to national or regional problems concerning food. Once a food alert has been issued, food businesses normally voluntarily remove the affected product from sale. If a food company does not voluntarily withdraw the product, then enforcement action may be taken.
The latest food alerts can be viewed on the Food Standards Agency website.
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Defra works for the essentials of life - water, food, air, land, people, animals and plants.
An independent food safety watchdog set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food.
Last updated: 16th October 2012