Food hygiene inspections of food premises can take place without prior notification at any reasonable time. The exception is for private homes, where home catering might be taking place. In these instances, we will give 24 hours notice.
Most inspections are programmed visits, although some may be as a result of a complaint.
The food hygiene inspection
During the inspection we will:
- look at the condition of all food rooms
- look at all stages of the food production process
- look for potential hazards and want to see evidence that these are being properly managed
- speak with members of staff to ensure they are carrying out safe practices
- check equipment to ensure it is working properly
- examine paperwork relating to temperature checks, pest control, hazard analysis, refuse collection and cleaning schedules
This documentation should be part of your Food Safety Management System (FSMS). Find out about managing food safely on the Food Safety Agency website.
We may also wish to see other related documentation. It is therefore advisable that all such records be readily accessible.
After the inspection
After the inspection the officer will discuss any findings with the manager or owner of the business. This is the best time to ask questions regarding the findings or the works being requested. The officer will also discuss the time scales for the work to be completed.
We will issue a record of the inspection outlining your legal obligations and recommendations to improve your business. If there are any queries regarding these requirements or the time scales you must contact the officer who issued the report.
Inspections must follow:
Visits to premises are programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories.
The inspection results in a score that determines the date of the next inspection - anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. The higher the score the greater the frequency of inspection.
National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme enables the public to check on the results of the latest food safety audit of food businesses such as restaurants, takeaways, supermarkets and pubs.
Feed inspections are not subject to the FHRS scheme.