What is the difference between a local authority Environmental Health Officer and a private Food safety auditor ?
"By Bisi Oladipupo"
An Environmental Health Officer (E.H.O) that works within a food safety team of any local government is authorised to inspect food premises. They are authorised to enforce food safety legislation. When your EHO inspects your premises they are trying to make sure that as a food business you are complying with food safety legislation. They also have powers to serve notices, close down a premises and prosecute if the need arises.
They generally would ensure that you are complying with legislation that applies to most food business. They are not there to enforce your brand specifications but general food safety legislation.
A private food safety auditor however will not only ensure that you are complying with food safety legislation, they can also help you to ensure that your brand specifications are being carried out. Food safety audits tend to be more detailed than inspections. A food safety auditor, after inspecting your premises would also audit your paper work. Paper work audits, that not only address food hygiene legislation but brand specification. That's why they are more detailed.
When your private food safety auditor comes across a problem with your premises, they will bring it to your attention so you can avoid getting into trouble with your local EHO. In other words, a food safety auditor is there to help and protect you. Its also a bit easier to discuss your concerns with them and be open, as you know that they are there to help you.
So do you need a food safety auditor? The choose is yours. With less resources and government cut backs, food businesses need to ensure that they are complying with legislation. One way to do this, is to have a food safety auditor. If you have a very poor food hygiene rating, or what to maintain your brand integrity, you might want to consider a food safety auditor. If you are also a small to medium sized food manufacturer or an approved food premises you might want to consider this option. As stated above, Local authority EHO'S are not there to help you maintain your brand integrity but to enforce food safety legislation.
What do we mean by brand integrity? Any procedure that applies specifically to your business but is not necessary legislation but good practice. Or any procedure that you have decided to implement as a business that goes beyond legislation to ensure that you are well above minimum legislation requirements.
Do you need a food safety auditor for your food business, contact us today! We are friendly, professional and here for you!