Food safety

Food safety inspections

Handling uncooked beef burgers

Calderdale Council carries out regular checks on all food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained.

Visits to premises are carried out, as far as possible, without prior notification and are priority programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories. Our PDFFood Service Plan [PDF 668KB] sets out how we plan and follow up visits.

During an inspection, Officers will want to reassure themselves that potential 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.

All food businesses must register with the local authority in which they are operating: Food business registration .

National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is linked with most of the councils in England and is run by the Food Standards Agency. The rating system is based on the structure, hygiene practices and management controls within the food business. The ratings go from a hygiene rating of five (excellent) to zero (very poor). Roughly speaking a rating of three may be taken to indicate legal compliance.  Details of the rating criteria can be found in the PDFGuidance on Ratings [PDF 98KB] .

Roughly speaking a rating of three may be taken to indicate legal compliance.

For more information on the hygiene rating scheme, visit: More about food hygiene ratings .

Businesses unhappy with their rating may wish to be reassessed. If you can prove that you have undertaken specified works or taken extensive steps to improve your business, you may apply for a reassessment after three months have elapsed from your initial inspection. Officers of this service will then visit your premises within three months of your application. PDFRequest for revisit (food hygiene) [PDF 131KB]Request for revisit (food hygiene).

Should you wish to appeal against the rating that you have been given you may do so on this form PDFAppeal against food hygiene rating [PDF 120KB]

Results are published for food safety inspections of businesses in Calderdale and West Yorkshire, visit: Food hygiene ratings.

Food safety management

A food safety management system or hazard analysis asks you to think logically about what might go wrong with the food that you sell and what you must do to ensure it is safe for your customers. They are based on food safety practices that you will already be familiar with. They help to prevent problems rather than reacting to them after they have happened.

Why have a food safety management system / hazard analysis?

  • it helps ensure food is safe for customers to eat
  • it is legal requirement for all food businesses
  • if your business is taken to court you may be able to demonstrate that you had exercised diligence through arrangements in place to prevent an offence being committed.

Food safety regulations

The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations made under it make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health. They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way.

An estimated five million people suffer from food poisoning in England and Wales each year. Running a food business means that you have a particular responsibility in protecting the health of your customers.

For more detailed information please go to the Food Standards Agency.

Staff in the Environmental Health are always willing to give guidance on how the law relates to your business. If you need advice, please contact Environmental Health.