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Food Safety

Guidance > Food Safety

What is a food safety inspection?

We carry out regular checks on all food premises within our jurisdiction to ensure the public are protected and that high standards are maintained.  Inspections take place without prior warning and higher risk premises are visited more frequently than lower risk premises.

During the inspection officers will want to be satisfied that adequate controls are in place to prevent any problems, ensure staff are adequately trained and the condition and cleanliness of the premises meets required standards.

How do I register as a food business operator

To store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises you need to be registered with the Authority; this can be done by emailing and requesting a Food Registration Document.

Premises include restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops, canteens, market stalls, mobile catering vans, food delivery vans and businesses operating from home.

As a consumer, how do I report a problem?

Food service requests cover both premises and food safety:
  • Premises includes hygiene of both the premise and staff and pest infestation; or
  • Food safety includes food poisoning, foreign bodies in food and pre-packed food labelling.

To report an issue to the Authority please contact us via either email ( or telephone (0151 233 2584)

We only deal with food premises located within our jurisdiction, if your query is about a food premise based outside our boundaries then please contact the Local Authority where the food premise is located.

What is a food safety management system?

If you are running a food business you are legally required to have an approved written food safety management system in place to ensure food is safe for customers to eat.

You should think about what might go wrong with the food that you sell and what you must do to ensure it is safe for your customers.  You should put in place a system based on food safety practices that you are familiar with, in line with general hazard analysis and critical procedures principles, (HACCP).  The level of documentation required will depend on the nature and size of your business.

Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB), is a national food safety management system aimed at helping smaller food businesses to put in place food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations. 

Food Standards Agency