Food Safety Officers within the Commercial Services team
aim to ensure that food and drink products sold in the Malvern
Hills District are safe to eat and drink
All food premises are inspected regularly under the Food Safety
Act 1990 and various regulations
Inspection frequency is determined from the Department of Health
codes of practice, based on the level of risk.
Owners of food businesses need to register with
Environmental Health. Certain types of producers (e.g. meat
& dairy) may require approval or licensing. .
Officers have the right to enter any food business to inspect it
or investigate food complaints, checking whether there is
compliance. Officers may also take samples, photographs and evidence to help in
determining the level of compliance and the action to be taken.
We investigate complaints relating to food such as
- Food that is unfit to eat or contaminated
- Poor food hygiene at businesses handling food
- Illness that may have been caused by food
The individual officer decides the appropriate course of action,
this may be guidance or advice, which can be verbal or confirmed in
Where the breach is more serious an Improvement Notice may be
served telling the duty holder to do something to comply with the
law. This notice has to say what needs to be done, why and by
If the Officer is of the opinion that there is an imminent risk
to health (e.g. serious pest infection), an Emergency Prohibition
Notice can be served (equipment, process or premises which
immediately stops the activity only allowing it to resume once
remedial action has been taken.
In some cases the Officer may also consider it necessary to
initiate a prosecution and the legislation gives the Courts
considerable scope for punishing offenders and deterring
Food Complaints are investigated from consumers and food alert
warnings issued by the Food Standards Agency are responded to.
Food Business Safety
Food businesses are required by law to operate in safe hygienic
conditions to prevent food poisoning. There are regulations
which are very important to food hygiene:
- The Food Hygiene(England) Regulations 2006
- The Official Feed and Food Controls (England) Regulations
- The EU Food Hygiene Regulations - 852/2004, 853/2004,
They apply to all types of food and food businesses, but do not
cover primary production or food prepared in the home for domestic
purposes. The regulations also cover some non-commercial activities
such as charity fundraising events.
Some businesses however, such as manufacturers of products of
animal origin, dairies or butchers, need to follow more specific
The Regulations set out basic hygiene requirements and controls
for all aspects of the business including the premises, facilities
Owners of food premises are required to register with
Environmental Health. For details about this please visit our
of Food Premises page.
What about Food Business
Businesses which produce or prepare food for the public are
inspected to make sure that the food is safe to eat and the
description of the food does not mislead the customer. These
inspections enforce the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Regulations
made under it.
Officers from the Commercial Team will go to inspect
premises to check on food safety and hygiene. This may be a routine
inspection or to investigate a complaint.
How often the inspectors routinely inspect businesses depends on
the type of business and its previous record. Some might be
inspected every six months and others less frequently. Officers
have the right to enter and inspect food premises at all reasonable
hours and do not have to make an appointment. Officers will look at
how the business is operated and make sure the law is being
followed. A report of their inspection will be given to the
proprietor and if it is necessary Officers can take 'enforcement
action' to protect the public.
Various enforcement options are available including improvement
notices, seizing suspect foods, emergency prohibition notices and
Food deemed unsafe is either seized or voluntarily surrendered
by the owner. If seized and condemned as unsafe by the Magistrate
Court then prosecution is likely; if an offence is committed
then the Court may agree to a Prohibition Order on equipment,
process, premises or person.
What is a Risk Assessment?
Anyone who sells or processes food and is covered by the Food
Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 has to make sure
that they carry out their operations safely and hygienically.
The Regulations emphasise the need to control risks. They say
that businesses must identify all steps in the activities that are
critical to food safety and ensure adequate safety controls are in
place, maintained and reviewed.
Controls do not have to be complex but they must ensure hazards
are identified and controls put in place. The focus on prevention
and the control of practices and procedures has a proven record of
providing sound consumer protection.
Publication of information on Food Premises
Local authorities have a duty to inspect food
businesses in their areas to ensure that food hygiene standards are
maintained. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 has introduced a
requirement for local authorities to provide inspection information
to the public on request.
‘Scores on doors’ is a scheme whereby the
hygiene ratings of food businesses given by inspectors are
presented to the public. The aim of the proposed ‘scores on doors’
- To ensure that those food businesses achieving consistently
high standards of food hygiene are publicly recognised.
- To provide consumers with a user-friendly way to access the
information they need to make informed choices about where to eat
in the area.
- To encourage food businesses where deficiencies are found to
improve their standards of food hygiene leading to greater food
Our scheme was launched on 28th January 2008.
See full details here.
If you have any queries on the scheme please
contact us by email as below or on 01684 862151
Starting A Food Business
If you have a food business or are thinking of
starting one up visit our Starting a food business pages or if you wish to
talk to a food safety officer for advice, please call 01684 862151
during office hours.
If you own a farm shop please see our
for Farm Shops from Worcestershire Trading
Standards (42.23 KB)