Food hygiene inspections

We have a programme of regular interventions covering the food businesses in Caerphilly county borough from market stalls and corner shops to the big supermarkets and large manufacturers. These interventions ensure that these businesses achieve high standards in food handling and storage.

What happens during an inspection visit?

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 will observe food handling practices, monitor temperatures of foods, examine records and inspect the structure.  We may also take samples of food we suspect is unsafe and take photographs. The inspection will focus on the documented food safety management system which will be compared with actual practices taking place at the premises.

We will assess the general cleanliness along with the standard of equipment and fittings, preparation areas, storage areas, sanitary accommodation and staff changing rooms. Evidence of pest control and correct refuse disposal will be also be examined and staff will be questioned about operations they perform at work.

Once the inspection is complete

We will discuss the findings with the person in charge. An inspection report will then be sent to the food business operator which will specify the businesses food hygiene rating (if within the scope of the scheme). 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.

How often are businesses inspected?

The frequency of our visits depends on:

  • the type of food being handled
  • the people at risk
  • how the business is managed
  • the condition of the premises
  • any complaints that we have received

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 3 years. These are only minimum inspection frequencies and we may carry out more frequent inspections where we consider this appropriate.

Sometimes inspections are carried out following the receipt of consumer and hygiene complaints.

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