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Food Safety Inspections

The Food & Safety Team carries out regular checks on all food premises in the Torridge District to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained. This page explains how officers decide how, when, and why to inspect a business.

Visits to food premises are usually carried out without prior notification at a frequency according the premises risk rating (table below). The officer gives the premises a risk rating using the Food Law Code of Practice. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more often than those in lower risk categories. The Code of Practice is issued by the Food Standards Agency and gives criterion for scoring based on hygiene, structural standards, type food and size of business, the number of consumers served, whether or not those consumers are likely to be more at risk as a vulnerable group and we give a score for our confidence in their management of food safety.

Code of Practice Risk Rating / Inspection Frequencies

Category

Score

Minimum Intervention Frequency

A92 or higherAt least every 6 months
B72 to 91At least every 12 months
C42 to 71At least every 18 months
D31 to 41At least every 24 months
E0 to 30A programme of alternative enforcement strategies or interventions every three years

During an inspection, Officers will want to reassure themselves that potential food safety risks have been identified by the business through comprehensive food safety management, based on the principles of hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP). There must be adequate controls in place, monitoring of controls, and corrective actions to prevent any problems. Officers also look at the training of managers and food handlers to ensure they have sufficient food safety knowledge. The Regulations also require all food businesses to have documented food safety management procedures in place.

Where the practices, conditions, or documentation are not satisfactory, every attempt is made to resolve the situation by informal means, but where poor conditions persist, or where there is a risk to public health, we have a duty as the local enforcement authority to implement formal action. This could involve either the service of legal notices; prosecutions; or, in extreme cases, even closure of the business.

Torridge District Council works to the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. You will see the 0-5 stickers on the windows and doors of food premises across the Torridge District.  The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a Food Standards Agency/Local Authority partnership scheme whereby the hygiene ratings of food businesses are displayed to the public.  Torridge food business ratings are on the national website, alongside ratings across the country.