Food hygiene inspections

The main purpose of a food hygiene inspection is to establish whether food is being handled, stored and produced hygienically and in compliance with legal requirements, and is therefore safe to eat.

Food standards inspections

A food standards inspection deals with labelling, presentation and composition. It involves the study of menus, recipes, labels and any claims made.

Where practical, a joint food hygiene and food standards inspection is undertaken.

Frequency of inspections

The inspection frequency is determined by risk assessing the business following inspection. The resultant score dictates the minimum inspection frequency. The risk rating system considers:

  • the type and size of business
  • the level of food safety management
  • conditions noted during inspection

Normally you will not be given advance warning of an inspection. A small number of visits may be carried out by appointment if we want to look at a particular process or discussions are required with a specific employee or the food business operator.

Following routine food hygiene inspections, businesses will be assessed in line with the Food Hygiene Information Scheme.

Enforcement action

Enforcement action is taken in accordance with our Food Enforcement Policy. The main aim of the Policy is that enforcement is conducted in a reasonable, proportionate, transparent and consistent manner.

Food Safety Enforcement Policy 2017

To ensure consistent enforcement, the council is represented on various groups such as the East of Scotland Food Liaison Group.

Failing to meet standards

Where a business fails to meet the required food hygiene standards, an authorised officer has a range of powers to deal with non-compliance. Normally a graduated approach is taken; starting with written warnings. Notices can be served requiring improvement by a certain time, some of which can have the effect of prohibiting all or some aspects of the food business.

An authorised officer can report breaches of the legislation to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution via the court system. Following successful prosecution, an order may be made prohibiting guilty persons from operating a food business again.