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Food safety inspections

Inspection of Food Premises

St Helens has over 1,400 food premises within the borough. Approximately 45% of these are restaurants, takeaways and other catering establishments with the rest being food shops, supermarkets, storage premises and food manufacturers.

We inspect all food premises in accordance with national guidelines under current food legislation and in accordance with a Food Hygiene Service Plan

Each premise is assessed for the level of compliance with the law and is scored, and it is this score that determines the next date of inspection.  Inspection frequency ranges from 6 months to up to 3 years.

What can you expect if we inspect your food business?

  • Inspectors can inspect you at any reasonable time, this can include times when you are preparing food and not open to the public and when you are open to the public.  This may be during normal working hours, evenings or weekends.
  • They don’t have to make an appointment and we will not give advance notice for a routine inspection.
  • They might take samples, photographs and examine documents.
  • They will provide advice on good practice and recommendations.
  • Officers will always clearly distinguish between legal requirements and recommendations.
  • They will leave a record of inspection on site to confirm the findings of the inspection.

For more detailed information on food enforcement, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

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This is a toolkit developed by the Food Standards Agency for caterers, retailers and childminders that require a documented food safety management system. It is a simple, common sense approach and assists food businesses to comply with the law.

Hard copies of the toolkit are currently provided free to businesses by the food safety team or can be ordered or downloaded directly from the Food Standards Agency website. 

New diary sheets can be ordered directly from the Food Standards Agency website or by contacting this department.

Contact us, by telephone on 01744 676299 or by email at environmentalhealth@sthelens.gov.uk