Since April 2001, the Food Standards Agency has required all local authorities to produce a service plan setting out how food enforcement activities are to be delivered. This plan is also required to provide details of the Council's inspection programme.
There are approximately 800 food businesses in the Borough. The Council carries out a number of activities to ensure that food manufactured, prepared, processed, displayed and sold within Broxbourne is safe to eat.
Registration, Inspection and Rating
Food businesses in the Borough are required to be registered with the Council. If you are planning to open a new food business or you don't think you are properly registered, you must complete a registration form, available to download from the right of the page.
Registered food businesses are regularly inspected by the Council. During a food hygiene inspection the inspecting officer will observe working practices, discuss food hygiene training and assess facilities and equipment. The Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 provides the Council with powers to require works to be done, or in serious situations where a substantial risk to the customer's health is identified, the inspector may close the business.
The results of the inspection will be sent to the Food Standards Agency, who compile the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Further information is available for businesses wishing for their rating to be reviewed.
A risk assessment asks you to think logically about what might go wrong with the food that you make / sell and what you must do to ensure it is safe for your customers.
Why do a risk assessment?
- it is legal requirement for all food businesses
- if your business is taken to court you may be able to demonstrate that you exercised diligence through arrangements in place to prevent an offence being committed
- it helps ensure food is safe for customers to eat
All food businesses must have a written Food Safety Management System (HACCP). The Food Standards Agency has developed a free pack to help business comply with the law. Using this pack will save you having to come up with your own system. The pack is jargon free and easy to use. It covers cooking, cleaning, chilling, cross contamination and management procedures. The pack should take less than four hours to fill in, and about a minute to complete the daily records.
If you need help with developing a Food Safety Management System, the Council offers free surgeries and coaching at Bishops' College. Officers are available to discuss any related problems or concerns you may have. Please contact Environmental Health to make an appointment.
The Food Standards Agency website contains helpful and sector specific information for businesses. Information on Waste Oil Management is available from the Environment Agency.
The Council is keen to assist local businesses to improve standards. If you own or manage a food business and require information and advice on how to comply with the law, please contact the Environmental Health section.