"By Bisi Oladipupo''
All food businesses i,e retailers, small corner shops, restaurants, pubs, home caterers, small and big manufactures are inspected by Environmental Health Officers or food safety officers.
In most cases officers come alone when carrying out an inspection, however there are exceptions to this. If a premises is large like a medium to large manufacturer, sometimes officers will come in pairs to make the inspection a bit easier to carry out. Or there could be cases when departments are carrying out shadow visits, or a student or trainee needs some experience, then you may get two officers show up. There can also be security reasons, then they will come in pairs. Having said there may still be some exceptions to the rule.
However because most Environmental Health Departments are target driven with minimum staffing levels, the majority cannot really afford two or three officers going around on a regular basis jointly to inspect one food premises.
So if this is the case, should l be concerned if two or three officers show up at my premises to carry out an inspection? As stated above, the answer could be yes or no. If you have a previous poor food hygiene rating, with numerous food complaints, and very poor hygiene standards with previous letters from the local EHO ignored, then you might want to be concerned. Sometimes, such premises are very good training ground for trainee officers and other officers that need the experience. However you might want to ask yourself a question? Why should my premises become a training ground to show very bad
practices. There is no need for it to be so.
On the other hand, you could be a manufacturer, or food business with very high standards that officers come in pairs to show how a good food business is run. They may have just come to see your good
HACCP plans, food safety management systems etc. and how you run a good food business.
The point about this article is that, if and when officers come to your premises in pairs for an inspection, you should have no concern. Provided you are running your food business in accordance with food safety regulations, there should be no concern. (Please note that investigating an alleged food poisoning outbreak or complaint is a different scenario).
Do you require help? Do you want to always be confident when officers show up at your premises? We are here for you. We can help you one off or carry out regular audits for you. Contact us today!!