Food safety and hygiene

Food businesses

Registering your business

If you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register with your local authority. See our food premises registration page for more information. 

You should register at least 28 days before opening. If you’re already trading and have not registered, you must do this as soon as possible.

Food safety inspections

The Council carries out regular checks on all food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained.

Visits to premises are carried out, as far as possible, without prior notification and are priority programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories.

During an inspection, Officers will want to reassure themselves that potential food safety risks have been identified by the business, and that there are adequate controls in place to prevent any problems. They will also look at the training of managers and food handlers to ensure that it is suitable, and they will check that the condition of the premises and equipment is satisfactory.

Where practices or 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 resort to formal action. This could involve either the service of legal notice, prosecution, or in extreme cases closure of the business.

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The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations made under it make it an offence for anyone to sell or process food for sale which is harmful to health. They also place an obligation on businesses to ensure that their activities are carried out in a hygienic way.

Contact the Council for guidance on how the law relates to your business.


Drinking water

Pollution events such as oil spills or the accidental release of raw sewage into rivers and watercourses can damage the environment. Pollution can be fatal for fish and invertebrate life and can pose a threat to human health, as well as degrading areas of natural beauty. All such incidents should be reported to the Environment Agency through their 24 hour a day pollution hotline - 0800 80 70 60. Further information is available from the Environment Agency website.

If you believe that there is a problem with your mains drinking water, you should in the first instance contact Anglian Water either using the link below or from the contact numbers in the phone book.

If you are in a tenanted property, you could also contact your landlord. If it is your own property, then you could also consult a plumber as there could be faults with your plumbing installation.

If you are not happy with responses from Anglian Water, you should then contact the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Contact the Council If you need further advice on water quality or pollution.


Food hygiene standards at local food outlets

We have introduced the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS). This has been developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities, providing information on food hygiene standards to help people choose where to eat out or shop for food.

These ratings are available for anyone to view on the food hygiene ratings website. 

Food safety officers inspect businesses to check that their hygiene standards meet legal requirements. The hygiene standards found at these inspections are rated on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom (which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’) to a top rating of five (‘very good’).

The food business is given a sticker and certificate and encouraged to display these at the entrance to their premises. This means that their customers can easily see them and decide if they want to go in.

The FSA website has more information about the FHRS including, how ratings are calculated, what the different ratings mean, how often a business will be given a new rating and the re-rating and appeal provisions.

Scheme disclaimer

The food hygiene rating scheme is not an endorsement of current standards but merely reflects the rating given at the time of their inspection.

Following an inspection it may take up to 28 days for the new rating to appear on the website.

The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service provided to customers.

Healthier Options Award

What is it?

The Healthier Options Award aims to increase healthier food and drink choices when eating out in Lincolnshire. Local takeaways and food outlets with a food hygiene rating of three or above are awarded for providing and promoting Healthier Options.

Healthier Options is a collaboration between Lincolnshire County Council, Boston Borough Council, City of Lincoln Council, East Lindsey District Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Holland District Council, South Kesteven District Council, and West Lindsey District Council. The initiative's aim is to encourage local food outlets and restaurants to make simple swaps on their menus that are healthier and taste just as good. Also, all businesses receive advice on how to adapt their menus such as using healthier oils, keeping the oil clean and at the right temperature and using better frying techniques; which will reduce fat, saturated fat and salt intake. 

How does it work?

  • A business creates a pledge using the Healthier Options resources and is assessed against the pledge by Lincolnshire County Council or North Kesteven District Council Public Protection Team, if the pledge is completed, they are awarded a Healthier Options membership. 
  • A business must maintain at least a three food hygiene rating to maintain membership. 
  • Some of the Healthier Option's 'tips' are actually cost-saving to the business. 
  • Overall the changes made improve the ability and ease of local people to make healthy choices when dining out. 
  • Lincolnshire County Council Healthier options has more information about the project and also how to join the scheme.

Businesses with our Healthier Options Award

  • The Agra, 1 Pride Parkway, Enterprise Park, Sleaford, NG34 7EQ
  • Elite Fish & Chip Shop, 2 Grantham Road, Sleaford, NG34 7NB
  • D&K Fit Foods, 8 Market Street, Sleaford, NG34 7SF