What happens when food premises are inspected

  • What happens when food premises are inspected

All food businesses in Thanet are regularly inspected as part of a risk-based inspection programme. Each business is scored for their level of compliance with hygiene regulations when inspected, and this determines when the next inspection will be carried out. Frequency of inspection can range from “tomorrow” to 3 years hence, depending on the size and type of business and the hygiene standards found.

This risk rating will be used for a national scheme called the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme  Food businesses will be awarded a rating depending on their hygiene standards, which will be available on the website and may be displayed at the premises.

The food safety officer will call, unannounced, at a time when the business is preparing food, and this may be during the evening or at weekends if this is necessary. The officer will consider:

  • the state of repair of the premises and equipment;
  • the way food is stored and handled;
  • the training and conduct of food handlers

and will examine documented food safety systems and monitoring records, which are a legal requirement. A suitable system is the Safer Food Better Business pack available free from the Food Standards Agency.

The action taken will depend on the standards found and can range from a hand-written report made on site, to formal Hygiene Improvement Notices, or even closure or prosecution. Most action is informal and a timescale will be agreed for improvements to meet the required standard, as long as there is no risk to the public. Enforcement action is decided with reference to our Enforcement and Prosecution Policy.