Food Safety Inspections

We carry out regular inspections of businesses to ensure food that is produced, prepared, distributed or sold in Mole Valley is safe and fit to eat.

Our role is to:

  • Establish whether food is being handled and produced hygienically
  • Establish whether food is, or will be, safe to eat
  • Look for areas of concern that suggest incidences of food poisoning or injury could be a possibility as a consequence of consumption of contaminated food
  • Enforce the provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990, and other relevant food safety legislation in all commercial food premises

We have the right to enter and inspect commercial food premises at any reasonable hour, without having to make an appointment or give advance notice.

Inspectors might come on a routine inspection, and the number of inspections will depend upon the type of business and its previous record.

  • High risk category premises can expect a visit at least every six months
  • Medium risk businesses can expect a visit every 12 – 18 months
  • Lowest risk businesses may receive another form of contact, such as a self-assessment questionnaire

An inspection visit

The inspector will look at the general operation of the business, ensuring that potential food safety risks have been adequately identified and controlled in the business through an appropriate Food Safety Management System.

This will include:

  • Checking the documentation/records
  • Speaking to staff to confirm levels of food safety knowledge
  • Checking that businesses are implementing effective food safety controls

Officers may also:

  • Take readings and photographs of temperatures of delivered, stored and cooked food items
  • Take food samples to check on the bacteriological condition of food or to identify any possible source of contamination. Further samples may be taken when unsatisfactory results are received. The officer may also take samples when investigating food complaints.

Our officers will provide free advice and guidance to ensure food businesses and others meet their legal obligations.

Results

The hygiene standards found at the time of the inspection are given a Food Hygiene Rating.

If you are not happy with your result you can appeal by any of the following options:

Right to reply

This gives you the opportunity to explain what actions you have taken since the inspection, or explain mitigating circumstances that may have affected your score.

Your comments will be published on the Food Standards Agency website and displayed together with your food hygiene rating score. Please note, your comments may be edited to remove offensive or defamatory remarks.

Appeal

You have the right to appeal against the food hygiene rating you have been issued with.

You have 14 days (including bank holidays and weekends) from the date of the receipt of your notification of the rating, to appeal.

Request a re-visit

These are non-statutory and cost £246 (VAT exempt) per re-inspection.

You can request one re-visit per each planned statutory inspection at any time after the statutory inspection takes place.

You must provide details of the improvements made with your request, including supporting evidence where appropriate.

A three month standing-still period after the original inspection is normally required before a re-visit will be made.

The re-visit will be unannounced and a risk rating will be given on the level of compliance that is found at the time of the re-visit. The rating score can go down as well as up.

Request a food hygiene re-rating

You can request a re-visit without payment to re-assess and possibly improve your rating. Email env.health@molevalley.gov.uk for more details.