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Food Control

Food Control

Environmental Health Officers work to ensure food businesses comply with food safety legislation and provide advice and information to those involved in the preparation, production and sale of food. We carry out routine inspections of food businesses to ensure food produced and sold is safe and the possibility of food poisoning is reduced.  Our Officers also monitor the labelling, composition and marketing of food to ensure that it complies with legislation and protects the consumer.

We investigate complaints of alleged illnesses from the consumption of food, foreign body contamination by metal, glass, plastic etc., contamination by animal and vegetable matter, rodents and mould growth, product labelling irregularities, and hygiene conditions in premises.

We also investigate confirmed cases that are notified to us by the Public Health Agency.

If you believe you have a food related illness you should contact your GP immediately who will carry out tests for confirmation.

If you would like to make a complaint about food you have purchased or premises you have visited in the council area, please contact us

Please note that all food and foreign body complaints should be stored in the fridge in a secure package. Avoid handling the complaint and retain all packaging and receipts.

Will this investigation help me to claim compensation?
We cannot offer advice regarding your right to compensation. You will need to take independent legal advice regarding this. The Citizens Advice Bureau can provide further information regarding your legal rights. For the contact details of your local office, telephone 028 9023 1120 or go to www.citizensadvice.co.uk

What happens if I am a food handler, health care or nursery worker?
If a person with symptoms is a food handler, health care or nursery worker who has direct contact or contact through serving food, with highly susceptible patients or people in whom an intestinal infection would have serious consequences, they cannot return to work until they are symptom-free for 48 hours. They must also inform their employer of their symptoms.  Further information is available from the Food Standards Agency.

You can download the following factsheets

The food hygiene rating scheme provides information on food hygiene standards to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food.  Businesses display stickers with a rating between zero and five.

Check Food Businesses Ratings 

Food outlets are inspected by Environmental Health Officers. During the inspection we check that hygiene standards meet legal requirements and cover areas such as:

  • how hygienically food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • the condition of the structure of the buildings – cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe – including having a completed safe catering pack or equivalent, the previous history of compliance and staff training.

The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are then rated on a scale of 0 to 5.

For more information about the scheme visit the Food Standards Agency website

Food allergens can be a significant hazard to those sensitive to them, whether present in the food as a deliberate ingredient or through cross contamination.

All businesses involved in the production and sale of food have a responsibility to identify, manage and monitor allergenic ingredients and the need for effective communication about allergens to both the consumers and staff members.

Businesses should also be aware of their legal requirements and how to manage the risks associated with food allergens.

The Food Standards Agency provide comprehensive guidance for food businesses on allergen information and best practice for handling allergens.

All Food business operators are required to provide allergen information and follow labelling rules as set out in food law.

This means that food business operators must:

  • provide allergen information to the consumer for both prepacked and non-prepacked food and drink
  • handle and manage food allergens effectively in food preparation

Food businesses must make sure that staff receive training on allergens.

Staff and managers should complete  free online food allergy training from the Food Standards Agency

If you require advice on meeting your allergen requirements contact the Environmental Health Department on 0330 0561 011   or email