Diners heading out for something to eat in Dudley can rest assured of the highest standards of food safety inspection with the council’s latest food and feed delivery programme shows that it’s achieving a 99.8% inspection rate for high risk premises.
Any business preparing or selling food, whether it’s a restaurant, takeaway, school kitchen, mobile burger van, petrol station selling sandwiches or gym with a snack machine has to register with the council’s environmental health team.
Currently the local authority has 2351 registered food businesses. Each of these is categorised from A-E according to the risk to public safety, from those at the top preparing food for hospital patients to corner shops selling a few pre-packed goods.
The council’s environmental health officers provide the food service, inspecting food businesses to ensure compliance with food hygiene and food standards legislation, investigating complaints relating to food and premises, sampling foods for microbiological and compositional requirements, investigating food borne disease as well as providing educational and promotional activities.
In 2018-19, 99.8% of high risk food premises were inspected for food hygiene, a total of 546 inspections and nearly three quarters of all due lowest risk premises received a food hygiene inspection or intervention, a further 812 food businesses. In addition 829 food standards inspections were carried out which focus on food labelling and compositional standards.
The service’s priorities for the next 12 months include aiming for a 100% inspection/intervention rate for all food premises, a push on allergen compliance in all food businesses and advice for food importers and exporters should national guidelines change as a result of Brexit.
The feed service relates to the safety, hygiene, composition and labelling of animal feed intended to be fed to animals entering the food chain.
This work is delivered by Trading Standards Officers who inspect the borough’s 50 premises which either produce or distribute animal feed, rear food, produce livestock or supply surplus food into the animal food chain.
Businesses are categorised in the same way as the food service, but the vast majority of feed services in the borough are low risk, with most rated category E.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards said:
Our food hygiene and trading standards officers do a fantastic job of ensuring that the food we eat and buy and the animal products entering the food chain are as safe as they can be. They check for food hygiene standards, safe food production and processing, allergens, pathogen and disease detection. You don’t see them going about their work, but the work of these two teams is an essential service to protect the health of the public.
I hope that the service helps the public have confidence in the standards of our local food industry and provides practical support to businesses, allowing well run food businesses to flourish and contribute to the local economy.
Notes to editors
Local authorities are required by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to produce and implement annual Food and Feed Service Plans that set out how the authority will deliver food and feed law enforcement functions to ensure national priorities and standards are addressed and delivered locally