Food Safety at Fylde
Environmental health officers aim to ensure that all food and drink intended for human consumption by Fylde's 800 food businesses is produced, stored, distributed or handled without risk to the health and safety of the consumer. We will also publish details of these inspections on the Food Standard Agency's national food hygiene rating scheme.
Food hygiene inspections
Local authorities are required to carry out inspections of food businesses. These inspections are carried out within Fylde by environmental health officers of Resources directorate and you can view the latest inspection rating for Fylde's food businesses via the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) Local food hygiene rating scheme website.
Purpose of food hygiene inspections
The primary responsibility for controlling food safety rests with the proprietor of the food business, however, environmental health officers inspect all types of food businesses to:
- Make sure food is being handled and produced hygienically
- Make sure food is safe to eat
- Identify any foreseeable risks of food poisoning or injury which might arise if the food is eaten
The objectives of the inspection therefore include:
- Determination of the business activities and the law that applies to the business
- Gathering and recording information from observations and discussions with the people involved
- Identifying the potential hazards and risk to the health of the public
- Checking the effectiveness of the controls to make the food safe
- Assessment of the management systems operated by the business
- Identifying the contraventions of food safety law
- Consideration of the appropriate enforcement action to make sure food businesses comply with the law
The local authority are required to keep a record of all food businesses and put together a programme to make sure that all food businesses are inspected on a regular basis.
Frequency of inspections
The frequency of the inspection depends upon a number of factors that look at the risk to consumers. These include:
- The potential hazard (type of food and method of handling; method of processing; consumers at risk)
- The current level of compliance (food handling practices/procedures and temperature control; structural layout, cleanliness, facilities)
- Confidence in management/control system (company's track record; attitude towards food hygiene and safety; knowledge; documented procedures)
- Significance of risk (potential for cross contamination; survival and growth of bacteria; documented procedures; training; required enforcement)
Once the risk has been determined the food premises are then inspected depending on the category they fall into as set out below:
Category Minimum of frequency of inspection
- A At least every six months
- B At least every year
- C At least every 18 months
- D At least every two years
- E At least every three years
- 5* VERY GOOD
- 4* GOOD
- 3* SATIAFACTORY
- 2* IMPROVMENT NECESSARY
- 1* MAJOR IMPROVMENT NECESSARY
- 0* URGENT IMPROVMENT NECESSARY
Food businesses can move between the categories, particularly if conditions improve or deteriorate.
Following a food hygiene inspection a business included in the scheme is rated from five for a very good premises through to zero for those premises that need to improve urgently. It is currently voluntary for the businesses to display the rating but gives the consumer an indication of its overall level of food hygiene compliance. As a guide:
- A premises with a zero to one rating demonstrates virtually no awareness of "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)", limited monitoring of critical control points and is poor in relation to structure and cleanliness. These premises are likely to be subject to further formal action in terms of Hygiene Improvement Notices, Simple Cautions and Prosecutions to secure future improvements.
- A premises with a two to three rating demonstrates an awareness of HACCP and routinely monitoring the critical control points, but have limited documentation. The premises must be generally fair in relation to structure and cleanliness.
- A premises with a four rating shows an ability to demonstrate an understanding of HACCP and have good food safety management systems. The premises must also have good structure and cleanliness throughout.
- A premises with a five rating has a fully documented HACCP based system and includes a system of self-inspection and verification coupled with very good structure and hygiene practices. To help businesses demonstrate to officers how they achieve this standard the directorate has produced some standard records and forms (available below).
All applicable businesses on completion of the food hygiene inspection will receive an inspection summary, window sticker stating the category from zero through to five. Businesses are requested to display their rating and it is valid until their next routine inspection.
Businesses who receive a low rating are given advice on how to improve their food safety standards - Improve your Food Standards Rating
There are approximately 800 food businesses in Fylde that are inspected for food hygiene. An up-to-date list of their ratings following the last inspection can be viewed on theFSA's food hygiene rating scheme website.
Food hygiene rating scheme
The rating is only a reflection of conditions found on the day of the inspection and standards may have gone up or down since that inspection. The rating will be downgraded where standards deteriorate and are not maintained. The rating is only a reflection of conditions found on the day of the inspection and standards may have gone up or down since that inspection. The rating will be downgraded where standards deteriorate and are not maintained.
- Appeal: The owner or manager of the business should talk to the local authority food safety officer that inspected the business about why the rating was given. If the business owner or manager still thinks that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing or complete the online form This means they can fill in a form that they can get from their local authority and sent it to them within 14 days (this includes weekends and public holidays) of being told what their rating is. Details of the appeal process are below in the FSA's safeguards for food businesses document. If you still are not content with the outcome of your appeal then you can contact the FSA's Independent Business Appeals Panel to review the decision.
- Right to reply: The owner or manager of the business also has a ‘right to reply'. This is different from an appeal. The owner or manager can fill in the right to reply form to tell the Environmental Health team, how the business has improved hygiene or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. A business's right to reply will be published online by the local authority with alongside the business's hygiene rating.
- Request a revisit: If a food business make the improvements to hygiene standards that the local authority food safety officer discussed at their planned inspection they can complete the revisit request form to ask for a re-visit before the next planned inspection so that the hygiene standards in their premises can be reassessed with a view to giving a new and higher food hygiene rating.