We have a programme of regular inspections covering the 1400 food businesses in Caerphilly county borough from market stalls and corner shops to the big supermarkets and large manufacturers. These inspections ensure that these businesses achieve high standards in food handling and storage.
Food safety inspections aim to:
- identify and prevent risks to public health
- investigate possible breaches of food hygiene legislation and to take such action as may be necessary to get the business legally compliant
- offer advice about good food hygiene practices
We have a right to enter and inspect a food business at all reasonable hours. We do not need to make an appointment and usually visit without advance notice. We have the power to inspect a premise, inspect food and examine records (including computerised records). If necessary, we can seize food, take samples and take photographs to be used as evidence.
We will check written records of deliveries, supplier details, temperatures of products in refrigeration and cooking temperature records if cooking takes place. The management should also have records of cleaning schedules, stock control, staff training and a documented food safety management system.
The general cleanliness and structural standards of the premise will be assessed along with the standard of equipment and fittings. Evidence of pest control and correct refuse disposal will be examined and staff may be questioned about operations they perform at work. All areas associated with the business may be checked including preparation areas, storage areas, sanitary accomodation, staff changing rooms, etc.
After the inspection
We will discuss the findings with the person in charge. An inspection report will then be sent to the food business operator. The report will specify those statutory requirements that are not being complied with and what action must be taken to comply with the law. In addition, advice on good practice may be included.
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 take formal action.
Some inspections reveal a need for work to be undertaken so that standards become compliant with the legal requirement. A single revisit or in some cases several revisits are necessary to ensure that remedial works are completed. These are not inspections and generally take much less time.
Frequency of inspections
The frequency of inspections of food premises is based upon an assessment of risk. Some food premises and businesses will present a higher risk to the consumer than others. This is dependent upon a number of factors such as the type of food business, the nature of the food, the degree of handling and the size of the business. Those premises posing a higher risk to the consumer should be inspected more frequently than those premises with a lower risk.
Food premises are inspected within the range of at least every 6 months to at least every 5 years. These are only minimum inspection frequencies and local authorities may carry out more frequent inspections where they consider this appropriate.
Sometimes inspections are carried out following the receipt of consumer and hygiene complaints.