Food sampling and inspections

We regularly inspect all the Borough's food businesses, taking samples for examination, and investigating complaints relating to food and food businesses.

How often routine inspections happen depends on the potential risk posed by the type of business and its previous record. Some premises may be inspected every six months, others much less often. The work carried out by the Council's Food Safety Service is detailed in the annual service plan (PDF, 399Kb).

Standards in food premises are dictated by the Food Safety Act 1990 and the various regulations made under the Act. For more information about the Act, visit the Food Standards Agency (external link) website.

What you can expect if we carry out an inspection at your business

Inspectors will make sure they visit you during your opening hours - they don't have to make an appointment and may not give you advance notice

  • They might take samples and photographs, and inspect records 
  • They will provide advice on good practice during the inspection 
  • We will write to you within 5 working days to confirm the findings of the inspection, including legal requirements, advice on good practice and recommendations 
  • We will give you the opportunity to comment on how we provide our service.


Data protection is important to us. Information on how we handle and protect your data including our Corporate Privacy Policy can be found here.