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Preparing For A Food Health & Safety Inspection

As a business in the food sector, food health & safety is incredibly important. You are responsible for making sure food is safe to eat and prevent food poisoning caused by harmful bacteria.

To ensure you comply with regulations and guidelines, local council inspectors can visit your workplace to carry out an inspection. The council will not tell you beforehand that a food health & safety inspection is going to take place. If you are a food retailer or caterer, you are likely to be visited on a more regular basis.


What are the FSA guidelines?

The inspector will assess your food, premises, procedures, and records. They will particularly look at your cleaning, cooking, cross-contamination prevention, chilling, and management procedures. The inspector reviews how you manage physical, chemical, and biological safety to prevent health problems caused by E.coli, salmonella, and campylobacter.

If your business prepares or serves food, then its obligations are noted in the FSA guidelines. The FSA food health & safety guidelines explain what you must achieve if you run a food business. You must:

  • Ensure food is safe for consumption
  • Is the same quality you say it is
  • Not remove, add, or treat food in a way that could make it harmful to consume
  • Not mislead people through food labelling, marketing, or advertising
  • Display your food hygiene rating (if you sell food to the public)
  • Remove unsafe food, create an incident report, and inform people why the food has been withdrawn
  • Keep a record of food and ingredient purchases
  • Only use approved additives to the approved maximum limits

After the food hygiene and workplace safety inspection, you will be sent a letter confirming any improvements you need to make. If serious issues with food health & safety are identified, this may result in your business being issued a notice that can ban you from using certain processes or equipment until changes have been made and a re-inspection is conducted.


What They Will Be Looking For

Now you know your food health & safety responsibilities, it is an excellent practice to review exactly what the inspector will be looking for.

Thankfully, the Food Standards Agency has created a free Food Safety Checklist covering the main things a food health & safety inspector will be looking for. The checklist includes a breakdown of what is assessed in categories including food storage, hygiene of food rooms and equipment, personal hygiene, waste control, pest control, food handling practices, and checks and record-keeping.

Depending on your business’s size and scope, the Food Standards Agency recommends that you complete their food health & safety checklist on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly frequency. If you are starting a business in this sector, you can review the checklist to prepare for beginning operations. By asking your workforce to read the document, you offer an excellent training opportunity that will help ensure best practices are introduced and followed from the outset.

Lindström Group