Inspections of Food Premises and Enforcing Food Safety Legislation

The Food Safety Act 1990 aims to ensure that all food produced for sale is safe to eat, it must not:

  • have been rendered injurious to health  
  • be unfit  
  • be so contaminated (by extraneous matter or otherwise) that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be eaten.

Local Authority enforcement officers can enter any food premises within their area to carry out an inspection and risk assessment to ensure food legislation is not contravened. 

The Food Standards Agency publish a simple guide explaining the Food Safety regulations that Local Authority Officers enforce:

During the inspection the officer will look at how you operate your business to identify potential hazards to food safety.  There are codes of practice that the officer must conform to when inspecting a food premises, and also when taking enforcement action.  You can expect to have feedback following an inspection, which will be followed up by letter.  Depending on the seriousness of any hazards in a food premises, more formal legal action can be taken by an officer in accordance with the Environmental Health Enforcement Policy.

The Food Standards Agency website has a page dedicated to all of the changes in legislation including a Food Law Guide which lists the current legislation which food businesses should be implementing. This page is updated every three months to ensure it is current.

For further help contact the Food Safety Team by calling (01273) 292161 or by emailing

Read our food safety inspections and investigations privacy notice for information on how we collect, store and process your data