What we do

Food hygiene inspections

The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 require that all food on sale is safe to eat and is applicable to all food businesses from manufacturers and distributors to caterers and retail shops.

The council is responsible for enforcement in approximately 770 premises and in addition to proactive inspection, we also undertake some other functions in relation to food businesses:

  • Food safety complaint investigations
  • Registration of food premises
  • Routine food sampling programme

Local authorities are required by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to carry out regular inspections of food businesses within their area.

In Hyndburn these inspections are carried out by Food and Safety Officers. Following every inspection, the Food and Safety Officer will score the food business and issue them with a food hygiene rating from five (very good) to zero (urgent improvement necessary). Food businesses are encouraged to display the rating but you can view the latest rating for Hyndburn’s food businesses via the FSA’s food hygiene rating scheme website.

Currently in Hyndburn (July 2018) the majority of food businesses in Hyndburn have a good or very good rating.

Food hygiene ratings for Hyndburn’s food businesses
0 to 2 3 4 and 5
Poor Satisfactory Good to Very Good
6.4% 8.5% 85.1%

Purpose of food hygiene inspections

The responsibility for controlling food safety rests with the owner of the food business, however, Food and Safety 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.

Planning inspections

The council is required to keep a record of all food businesses in Hyndburn and put together a programme to make sure that all food businesses are inspected on a regular basis, as detailed in the Food Service Plan below.

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

And takes into account:

  • Significance of risk (potential for cross contamination; survival and growth of bacteria; documented procedures; training; required enforcement)

The frequency that food businesses are inspected is dependent on which risk category they fall into as set out below:

Category Minimum inspection frequency Level of risk
A At least every six months High risk premises
B At least every year
C At least every 18 months
D At least every two years Low risk premises
E At least every three years

Food businesses can move between the categories, as conditions improve or deteriorate. Those high risk, non-compliant premises are inspected more frequently than low risk, compliant ones. This enables us to target our resources more effectively and ensure standards are improved in under performing businesses to protect public safety.