All food businesses in Carmarthenshire are subject to regular food safety inspections which are carried out by officers of the Food Safety Team.
Purpose of Inspections:
The inspection aims to
- Identify and prevent risks to public health
- Investigate possible breaches of food hygiene legislation and to take such action as may be necessary to get the business legally compliant
- Offer advice about good food hygiene practices
Officers have the right to enter and inspect food businesses at all reasonable hours, they do not need to make an appointment and can turn up without advance notice. Officers have the power to inspect a premise, inspect food, examine records, take samples and photographs for evidence and can seize foods.
Officers will check any written records of deliveries, suppliers, temperature records kept for foods stored in refrigeration units and any cooking temperature records if cooking takes place. The management must also have records of staff training and cleaning.
An assessment of the general cleanliness and repair standards will be made along with the standard of equipment and fittings. Evidence of pest control and correct refuse disposal will be examined and staff may be questioned about operations they perform at work. All areas associated with the business may be checked including staff changing rooms, storage areas and preparation areas.
After the inspection:
The officer will discuss their findings with the person in charge after the inspection. The officer will specify those statutory requirements not being complied with and what action must be taken to comply with the law. In addition, advice on good practice may be included.
Where 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 take formal action.
Some inspections reveal a need for work to be undertaken so that standards become compliant with the legal requirement. A single revisit or in some cases several revisits will be necessary to ensure that the works are completed. These are not inspections and generally take much less time.
Frequency of inspections:
The frequency of inspections of food businesses will depend on an assessment of the risk posed by the business. Some food businesses will present a higher risk to the consumer than others. This is dependent on a number of factors such as the type of food business, the nature of the food, the degree of handling and the size of the business. Those premises posing a higher risk to the public will be inspected more frequently than those posing a lower risk.
Food premises are inspected within the range of at least every 6 months to at least every 5 years. These are only minimum inspection frequencies and local authorities carry out more frequent inspections where they consider this appropriate.
Sometimes inspections will be carried out following the receipt of consumer and hygiene complaints.