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Dudley Council
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Environmental health practitioners carry out regular inspections at food premises to ensure that standards of hygiene and food safety are being maintained and that there is no risk to public safety.

Trading Standards Officers may also inspect some food businesses to ensure compliance with other laws such as labelling.

We undertake food hygiene inspections to:

  • establish whether food is being handled and produced hygienically
  • establish whether food is safe to eat
  • identify foreseeable incidences of food poisoning or injury as a consequence of consumption of food. 

When do inspections take place?

Inspections are mainly unannounced and take place during trading hours, including evening inspections for premises that predominantly trade out of normal hours. All inspections are carried out in accordance with the Food Safety Act 1990, the European Communities Act 1972 and their regulations and in accordance with national guidance issued by the Food Standards Agency in a Code of Practice and associated guidance.

How often do they take place?

Inspections normally take place on a routine basis in accordance with the Food Standards Agency Code of Practice and guidance. Occasionally, we conduct inspections if we receive a complaint or if we are sampling.

What happens to the results of the inspections?

All food businesses in Dudley are subject to compulsory hygiene inspections by Environmental Health Officers (EHO's). Since the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came fully into force in January 2005, we have received many requests to make the inspection reports public. In the public interest, we have therefore simplified these reports into star ratings and made them available on this website. The results of the food business inspections for safety and hygiene can be found on our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme webpages, which provides details of all results for Dudley.

How can I request an inspection?

If you are a starting up a business soon, you can make a request for an inspection by contact us using any of the methods at the bottom of the page.

If you are a member of the public you can make a food complaint about a business to us and we will investigate your concerns.

What are the main objectives of a food hygiene inspection?

  • to determine whether the food business is complying with the relevant food safety legislation.
  • to gather information through observations and discussions with food handlers, managers and proprietors.
  • to identify potential hazards and associated risks to public health.
  • to assess the effectiveness of process controls implemented to safeguard food.
  • to assess the hazard analysis or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point based food safety management systems operated by the business.
  • to identify specific contraventions of food safety legislation.
  • to consider the most appropriate course of enforcement action to secure compliance with food safety legislation.
  • to provide advice and information to food business proprietors and food handlers
  • to provide recommendations of practical, good food hygiene practices.
  • to promote the continued improvements of food hygiene standards through the adoption of good practice.

How do we undertake inspections?

The majority of our routine food hygiene visits to premises are carried out without prior notification and are priority programmed according to the degree of risk. We may also make unplanned inspections when the need arises too.

During an inspection, officers ensure that 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. 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 ratings scheme

After every routine inspection, the premises is given a new risk rating and a food hygiene rating is published on the website.

Premises with a lower rating will be visited more frequently and may be subject to enforcement action in accordance with our enforcement policy.