Food premises inspection

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Selby District Council adopted the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in April 2012. This allows hygiene ratings to be applied following a programmed routine food hygiene inspection of premises that fall within the scope of the scheme.

Please see our dedicated Food Hygiene Rating Scheme page for further information.

Who will inspect your business?

Environmental Health Officers have the right to enter and inspect food premises at all reasonable hours. We do not have to make an appointment and we will usually come without advance notice. We carry out routine inspections and may also visit as a result of a complaint.

How often routine inspections happen depends on the potential risk posed by the type of business and its previous record. Some premises may be inspected at least every six months, others much less often.

Inspectors will look at the way you operate your business to identify potential hazards and to make sure you are complying with the law. We will discuss any problems with you and advise you on possible solutions.

Environmental Health Officers also have powers which we can use when we think it necessary to protect the public. These are explained below.

What are you entitled to expect from the inspectors?

You can expect:

  • A courteous manner;
  • To be shown identification;
  • Feedback from any inspection. This may include information about hazards which have been identified and guidance on how they could be avoided;
  • A clear distinction between what the inspector is recommending you do because it is good practice and what you must do to comply with the law;
  • To be given the reasons in writing for any action you are asked to take
    where there is an apparent breach of law, a statement of what that law is;
  • Reasonable time to meet statutory requirements, except where there is an immediate risk to public health; and
  • To be told the procedures for appealing against Local Authority action.

What powers do inspectors have?

We can take samples and photographs, and inspect records. You must not obstruct inspectors.

We may write to you informally asking you to put right any problems we find. Where breaches of the law are identified which must be put right, we may serve you with a Hygiene Improvement Notice.

We can detain or seize suspect foods. In serious cases we may decide to recommend a prosecution. If the prosecution is successful, the Court may impose:

  • Prohibitions on processes and the use of premises or equipment;
  • Fines; and
  • possibly imprisonment.

If there is an imminent health risk to consumers, inspectors can serve an Emergency Prohibition Notice. This forbids you to use the premises or equipment. The Court must confirm this notice.

What can you do if you think the outcome is not fair?

If you don't agree with action taken by the inspector, you should first contact Selby District Council's Lead Officer for Environmental Health and Housing, to see if the problem can be resolved informally. If you still disagree after that, you could approach your local councillor.

You have a right of appeal to a Magistrates' Court against an Improvement Notice or if we refuse to lift an Emergency Prohibition Order made earlier by the Court. A Magistrates' Court must confirm the emergency closure of a business or the seizure of food. If Magistrates decide premises have been shut without proper reason, or food has been wrongly seized or detained, you have a right to compensation.