Food Hygiene and Safety - reporting a food related issue to us
If you need to contact us regarding a food related issue, you can use our online reporting system to inform the Environmental Health Food Team:
Local Authorities work closely with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) who are responsible for food safety and food hygiene across the UK, to provide advice and to enforce food safety regulations. The FSA produces a wide range of publications for the public and the food industry, which can be viewed on their website FSA publications. The FSA also provide some excellent guidance to help small catering businesses such as restaurants, cafés and takeaways comply with food hygiene regulations in their food safety management pack, which has lots of useful information for the public and those working in the food industry. The FSA also provide guidance on starting a food business
The FSA leads on the Government response to food incidents. It provides advice to businesses on how to report, respond to and prevent an incident, as well as carrying out monitoring and planning work. View the FSA advice here
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also provides extensive information that is helpful in managing health and safety related to food and drink.
You can access a selection of food hygiene and safety related information by selecting the item from the list of shortcuts below
- The FSA website provides a range of information that includes enforcement, codes of practice, legislation and regulations.
The FSA website provides General Food Law Regulation guidance for food businesses.
- The following link provides information regarding food safety, traceability, product withdraw and recall
- A broad selection of information relating to Health and Safety matters applicable to the food and drink related business, is available in the HSE document (pdf) A recipe for safety: Health and safety in food and drink manufacture.
- Advice is available from the HSE concerning catering related skin problems and dermatitis
- Guidance from the FSA is provided to help managers and staff prevent the spread of infection by advising which illnesses and symptoms staff should report and what managers should do in response. Food handlers: fitness to work
- The FSA provide useful guidance on their website concerning Advice on keeping your hands, worktops and utensils clean in the kitchen and have created the Kitchen Check, a simple tool that helps you find out if your kitchen habits are putting you, or your family and friends, at risk of food poisoning. The FSA website provides on guidance on how the hygiene regulations affect food business operators (FBOs)
- The HSE provides information concerning Ventilation of kitchens in catering establishments
- The HSE provide some useful information on their website concerning risk assessment for food preparation and service and a downloadable PDF Example risk assessment for food preparation, cooking and service .
- Most people don’t believe the food they cook at home can make them ill, but the meals you prepare for yourself, your family and friends can be a source of food poisoning. The FSA checklist can help you manage health risk in the Kitchen Check
- Managing the risks associated with the transportation of food is of great importance. Click the following link for Council guidance on Transporting food in Vehicles and Containers
- The FSA provides some excellent guidance in their questions and answers page on 'Catering advice for charity and community groups providing food', much of which applies to buffets and parties too
- If you defrost any foods you must do this in a way that minimises the risk of harmful bacteria growing or toxins forming in the foods. While they are being defrosted, you must keep foods at a temperature that would not result in a risk to health. Where liquid coming from the defrosting food may present a risk to health (e.g. when defrosting raw meat) you must drain it off adequately and ensure it does not come into contact with other foods. Following defrosting, food must be handled in a way that minimises the risk of harmful bacteria growing or toxins forming (for example, keeping it in the fridge at a temperature of 5 degrees Celsius or colder).
- The BBC Skillswise website provides some excellent guidance in this pdf document Using storage temperatures on packed food
- The FSA promotes the microbiological safety of food throughout the food chain. It is responsible for the strategy for reducing foodborne illness, promoting a hazard analysis-based approach to food safety management and providing guidance for producers, retailers, caterers and the general public. More information can be found on the FSA's webpage concerning food poisoning and the difference between 'Use by' and 'Best before' labels?
- The FSA provide advice and guidance on Rules on keeping your water supply safe.
- Some food may be kept hot for extended periods of time, perhaps whilst on sale, such as hot pies in a bakery, or during periods of service, such as food on a carvery. As food poisoning bacteria will grow quickly where food is only kept warm and not hot, it is important to ensure hot held foods are kept at a temperature to stop bacteria growing. Food business are required to comply with current food hygiene laws. By law, hot held foods must be kept at a temperature of 63 degrees Celsius or hotter. To ensure food is maintained safe and compliant with the law, you must make regular checks using a calibrated probe thermometer (ensure it has been wiped clean with a steriliser wipe between use). Alternatively, for hot held soups, custards, gravy etc check that the food is bubbling with steam coming off.
- Cross contamination is one of the most common causes of food poisoning. It happens when harmful germs are spread onto food from other food, surfaces, hands or equipment. You can find out more about cross contamination on the FSE website.
- Guidance for food businesses, which clarifies the steps that they need to take to control the risk of food becoming contaminated by E.coli O157 and what businesses should be doing to protect their customers, is available on the E.coli O157: control of cross-contamination page on the FSA website
- The FSA provide what you need to know about the new allergen information rules (EU FIC) and the FSA's work on food allergy and intolerance, including research, labelling and guidance on their website. You can use the following link to the FSA website to find out more about allergies and intolerance to foods
- This page on the FSA website provides information on the latest food related recall Food Alerts
- You can use the Councils online reporting system to inform the Council of Food related complaints
- When an Environmental Health inspector visits a business they will always provide identification when they arrive and will inform you of any hazards they have identified, advising you about how they can be managed. You can use the following link to find out more about the role of Environmental Health inspector and inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive
- The Councils Environmental Health Service can provide guidance and information on all areas of food management and hygiene. See the contact details at the top of this page
- Health protection advice concerning Infectious diseases (Including e.coli and Salmonella) is available on the Gov.UK health protection website
Last Updated: 9 July 2020