Environmental health officers have a right to enter and inspect food premises without having to make an appointment or giving advanced notice. The frequency of our visits depends on:
We will take samples, photographs and inspect records and take food we suspect is unsafe. As a result, we may recommend prosecution or impose prohibitions on the business, process or equipment. If the public are at risk, we will serve a hygiene emergency prohibition notice, which effectively closes your establishment down.
We will make recommendations for improvement and discuss timescales within which you must complete the work and give you details of any follow up visits to check on your progress.
If you think the outcome is unfair, you have a right of appeal to a magistrate’s court against a hygiene improvement notice. A magistrate must confirm an emergency closure of a business or seizure of food. If it is decided that a premise has been shut without proper reason or food has been wrongly taken away, you have a right to compensation.
Liverpool now uses the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme to rate the hygiene standards of a food business. The scheme is run in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and replaces our previous Scores on the Doors scheme.
The ratings are given in accordance with national guidance set to ensure consistency across different councils. A business is awarded one of six hygiene ratings ranging from 0 (the worst) to 5 (the best) based on how well the business meets the requirements of food hygiene law, in particular:
Please note that the rating given for an outlet does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of customer service.
Businesses can also display ratings stickers and a certificate. Displaying these is voluntary at the moment so consumers are urged to check the hygiene ratings online.
You can request a re-visit to be re-assessed, appeal against a rating or exercise your right to reply. You can do this:
Download, complete and return the relevant form below:
More information about these safeguards is provided on the FSA website.