In order to safeguard the quality and safety of food produced, distributed and sold within the district, Environmental Health carry out routine and unannounced inspections and sampling of food, premises, products and water on a regular basis.
We promptly investigate all reports or allegations of ill health associated with the consumption of food and water purchased or consumed locally. The purpose of the investigation is to identify and remove the source of any illness, and to prevent further spread.
Businesses will not generally receive prior notice of visits unless officers have necessary cause to visit otherwise.
Either an environmental health officer or an authorised food safety inspector employed by the council will inspect food businesses in Warwick district. Always ask to see some form of official identification. If in doubt telephone 01926 456713.
During an inspection
The time taken to carry out an inspection varies considerably. It depends on the size, nature and extent of the operations
The officer(s) will
- Talk to staff about food safety management systems and practices.
- Inspect all parts of the premises and equipment.
- Talk to staff about hygiene training, hazard analysis and temperature control.
In addition the officer(s) can
- Request relevant documentation including recipes, maintenance and productions records, staff sickness records and so on.
- Take samples, photographs, and inspect records.
- Write informally asking the proprietor to put right any problems they find. Where breaches of the law are identified, which must be put right, they may serve a Hygiene Improvement Notice.
- Detain or seize foods.
- In serious cases they may decide to recommend a prosecution. If the prosecution is successful, the Court may impose prohibitions on processes and the use of premises or equipment, fines and possibly imprisonment.
- If there is an imminent health risk to consumers, inspectors can serve a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice that forbids the use of the premises or equipment. The Courts must confirm such a notice.
It is a criminal offence to obstruct an authorised officer in the course of his/her duty.
Receiving a Hygiene Improvement Notice
If you receive a Hygiene Improvement Notice take immediate steps to ensure that you comply with it within the specified time period
- If you do not comply then you may be prosecuted
- If you cannot comply within the time period contact the Food and Occupational Safety & Health Team immediately
- Let the enforcement officer know of the progress that you are making to comply with the notice
Who governs what the officers do?
The officers must comply with and/or adhere to:
- The Food Safety Act 1990
- European Communities Act 1972
- Regulations made thereunder
- Code of Practice issued by the Food Standards Agency
- Advice in relevant approved industry guides for food businesses
Officers cannot make up the rules and regulations as they go along.
Collection of credible evidence is pivotal in any case that may lead to prosecution in accordance with our Enforcement Policy