Food safety

Food safety complaints, inspections and enforcement

What do Inverclyde Council do?

Inverclyde Council enforces food safety and standards legislation in premises across Inverclyde. 

Additionally, we offer advice and guidance to food business proprietors and to members of the public on all food safety related matters.

We prioritise and target our resources to ensure that all food offered for sale to the public is safe for consumption and that it meets all the legal standards required for composition, labelling and advertising.

Food businesses are required to register with this service prior to opening. This ensures that we are able to offer the most appropriate advice to businesses and check that premises are suitable for their intended use.

Our work covers the following areas:

  • Food Law inspections which include both food hygiene and standards
  • Food premises registration
  • Approval of premises
  • Food sampling
  • Complaints about food and food premises
  • Food poisoning investigations

Inspections

All inspections of food premises are based on the risk that the particular business poses to consumers. This is a complex issue dependant on a number of factors including: the nature of the business; the condition of the premises; the previous performance of the business in meeting legislative requirements etc. 

The main purpose of a food law inspection is to establish whether food is being handled, stored and produced hygienically and in compliance with legal requirements, and is therefore safe to eat.  Additionally the inspection will assess a business’s compliance with labelling, presentation and composition.

Frequency of inspections

The inspection frequency is determined by risk assessing the business following inspection. The resultant score dictates the minimum inspection frequency. The risk rating system considers:

  • the type of business
  • the level of food safety management
  • conditions noted during inspection

Normally you will not be given advance warning of an inspection. A small number of visits may be carried out by appointment if we want to look at a particular process or discussions are required with a specific employee or the food business operator.

Following routine food law inspections, businesses will be assessed in line with the Food Hygiene Information Scheme.

Failing to meet standards

Where a business fails to meet the required food law standards, an authorised officer has a range of powers to deal with non-compliance. Normally a graduated approach is taken; starting with written warnings. Notices can be served requiring improvement by a certain time, some of which can have the effect of prohibiting all or some aspects of the food business.

An authorised officer can report breaches of the legislation to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution via the court system. Following successful prosecution, an order may be made prohibiting guilty persons from operating a food business again.

Page last updated: 13 December 2019