Food safety inspections
All food businesses in the borough are visited regularly - restaurants, cafés, supermarkets, corner shops, warehouses and manufacturers.
The frequency of visits depends on the nature of the business and the condition of the premises. The better the management of the business, the less frequently we go.
Visits to premises
Visits to premises are carried out, as far as possible, without prior notification and are priority programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories.
Officers are out and about in Havering during the day, in the evenings and occasionally at weekends. A wide range of options are available to deal with any problems found. These range from just giving advice to prosecution.
During an inspection, Officers will want to reassure themselves that potential food safety risks have been identified by the business, and that there are adequate controls in place to prevent any problems. They will also look at the training of managers and food handlers to ensure that it is suitable, and they will check that the condition of the premises and equipment is satisfactory.
The purpose of an inspection
- To ensure that food is being handled and produced hygienically
- To ensure that food is safe to eat
- To look at the potential risk for food poisoning or injury as a result of food consumption
- To ensure that the food handling staff are trained in food hygiene and handling practices
- To inspect the condition of equipment and the premises
- To ensure there are precautions to prevent pest infestation
- To ensure that staff are aware of the importance of personal hygiene
Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory, every attempt will be made to resolve the situation by informal means, but where poor conditions persist, or where there is a risk to public health it may be necessary to resort to formal action. This could involve either the service of legal notice, prosecution, or in extreme cases closure of the business.
Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS)
When the premises are inspected they are also rated to determine the frequency of inspection. Part of this mechanism looks at the structure and cleaning of the premises, the food safety management systems in place and confidence that the systems and controls will be maintained. A rating is given from 0-5 (5 being excellent) and published on the Food Standards Agency national website.
We will soon have access to this information via iPhone and android applications.
If you are a food business wishing to appeal your rating, request a revisit or exercise your right to reply, please see below.
You have the right to appeal your rating within 21 days of your inspection.
- You can only appeal where 'as the food business operator (FBO) you believe that the rating given is unjust and does not reflect the hygiene standards and management controls found at your establishment at the time of the intervention'
- An appeal is not appropriate where you have requested a re-inspection on the basis that non-compliances at the time of the initial intervention have now been rectified. You may appeal after the revisit if you consider the new rating given is unjust
Request for a revisit
If you have improved the hygiene standards that were highlighted as defective in your inspection report, you can request a revisit with a view to giving you a new food hygiene rating. There is a non-refundable charge of £202 payable in advance for this service. The rerating visit will be unannounced and will be carried out within 3 months of receipt of payment.
Right to reply
You may make a comment in explanation of later actions or mitigation for the circumstances at the time of the intervention.
Your comments will be reviewed and may not be published if any offensive or defamatory remarks are made. Right to reply is to enable you to give an account of measures taken to remedy issues rather than to make complaints or criticise the scheme or the inspecting officers.
The hygiene rating system will be withdrawn if the Council becomes aware of serious breaches as described in the food law code of practice and the sticker and certificate remain the property of the London Borough of Havering.