Food hygiene inspections

Local authorities are required by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to carry out regular inspections of food businesses within their area.

In Salford, these inspections are carried out by environmental health officers in the Place directorate. Following every inspection, the environmental health officer will score the food business and issue them with a food hygiene rating from five (very good) to zero (urgent improvement necessary). Food businesses are encouraged to display the rating but you can view the latest rating for Salford's food businesses via the FSA's food hygiene rating scheme website.

Currently in Salford (November 2017), the majority of food businesses in Salford have a good or very good rating.

Food hygiene ratings for Salford's food businesses
0 to 2 3 4 and 5
Poor Satisfactory Good to Very Good
8.5% 19% 72.5%

Purpose of food hygiene inspections

The responsibility for controlling food safety rests with the owner of the food business, however, environmental health officers inspect all types of food businesses to:

  • Make sure food is being handled and produced hygienically
  • Make sure food is safe to eat
  • Identify any foreseeable risks of food poisoning or injury which might arise if the food is eaten

The objectives of the inspection therefore include:

  • Determination of the business activities and the law that applies to the business
  • Gathering and recording information from observations and discussions with the people involved
  • Identifying the potential hazards and risk to the health of the public
  • Checking the effectiveness of the controls to make the food safe
  • Assessment of the management systems operated by the business
  • Identifying the contraventions of food safety law
  • Consideration of the appropriate enforcement action to make sure food businesses comply with the law

Planning inspections

The council is required to keep a record of all food businesses in Salford and put together a programme to make sure that all food businesses are inspected on a regular basis, as detailed in the Food Service Plan below.

Frequency of inspections

The frequency of the inspection depends upon a number of factors that look at the risk to consumers. These include:

  • The potential hazard (type of food and method of handling; method of processing; consumers at risk)
  • The current level of compliance (food handling practices/procedures and temperature control; structural layout, cleanliness, facilities)
  • Confidence in management/control system (company's track record; attitude towards food hygiene and safety; knowledge; documented procedures)

And takes into account:

  • Significance of risk (potential for cross contamination; survival and growth of bacteria; documented procedures; training; required enforcement)

The frequency that food businesses are inspected is dependent on which risk category they fall into as set out below:

Category Minimum inspection frequency Level of risk
A At least every six months High risk premises
B At least every year
C At least every 18 months
D At least every two years Low risk premises
E At least every three years

Food businesses can move between the categories, as conditions improve or deteriorate. Those high risk, non-compliant premises are inspected more frequently than low risk, compliant ones. This enables us to target our resources more effectively and ensure standards are improved in under performing businesses to protect public safety.

Performance - how are we doing?

From the table below you can see how well we are performing in meeting our inspection targets. Over the last few years, the performance of the service inspecting businesses when they are due for inspection has improved and since 2012 we have inspected 100% of high risk food businesses.

Performance against local performance indicators

Year High risk premises Low risk premises
2011 to 2012 93% 89%
2012 to 2013 100% 100%
2013 to 2014 100% 100%
2014 to 2015 100% 96%
2015 to 2016 100% 98%
2016 to 2017 100% 89%

Our aim is to improve the level of food hygiene across Salford.

The role of the service is to enforce food safety legislation within approximately 2,200 food premises in Salford and use all four approaches of the 'enforcement mix':

  • Demand: through our response to complaints/requests from both businesses and customers
  • Inspection: by undertaking approximately 1,350 inspections in accordance with the Food Standards Agency's Food Law Code of Practice risk based inspection rating system
  • Education: through advice to all businesses and guidance leaflets for the public 
  • Intelligence: through our co-ordinated sampling program, liaison with other authorities and response to requests from Food Standards Agency

The outcome measure:

Our performance in this field will be tracked each year through a combination of:

1. The overall risk profile of the food businesses within Salford at 1 April:

Year A B C D E Total inspected Total premises
2011 15 208 937 279 408 1,138 1,899 (including 49 unrated)
2012 22 194 971 256 481 1,364 1,973 (including 49 unrated)
2013 20 189 889 292 553 1,426 1,974 (including 31 unrated)
2014 11 174 890 277 622 1,458 1,992 (including 18 unrated)
2015 9 149 542 642 683 1,132 2,067 (including 42 unrated)
2016 3 95 533 682 726 1,413 2,125 (including 86 unrated)
2017 9 97 518 673 754 1,279 2,127 (including 76 unrated)

2. The number of broadly compliant premises at 1 April:

Year Broadly compliant Percentage Not compliant Percentage Total inspected Total premises
April 2011 1,582 84.2% 296 15.8% 1,138 1,889
April 2012 1,660 83.5% 327 16.5% 1,364 1,973
April 2013 1,675 83.6% 329 16.4% 1,426 2,004
April 2014 1,769 84.8% 318 15.2% 1,458 2,087
April 2015 1,850 87.3% 269 12.7% 1,132 2,067
April 2016 1,984 90.5% 209 9.5% 1,413 2,193
April 2017 1,999 90.6% 207 9.4% 1,279 2,206

See the food hygiene rating pages for information on up to date compliance information for individual premises and their current hygiene rating.

The overall aim will contribute to Salford City Council's pledges and community themes and assist with the FSA's requirements and their strategy of reducing the incidence of foodborne illness by 20% by improving food safety right through the food chain.

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This page was last updated on 8 November 2017

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