Food safety and hygiene

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.

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.

An estimated five million people suffer from food poisoning in England and Wales each year. Running a food business means that you have a particular responsibility in protecting the health of your customers.

Staff in Environmental Services are always willing to give guidance on how the law relates to your business. If you need advice, please contact the Food Team.

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 a link to which is provided below.

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 using the link below.

If you need further advice on water quality or pollution, contact the Environmental Protection Unit at NKDC.

Food poisoning means an illness that is due either to germs or to toxins present in food or water. The main organisms that cause food poisoning are:

  • Campylobacter
  • Salmonella
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Listeria
  • E.coli
  • Certain types of rotavirus and norovirus

The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If you have any questions about food poisoning you can contact the Food Team at North Kesteven District Council.