Stafford Borough Council inspects hundreds of eating out venues across the area to ensure they are up to scratch - with the results displayed at the Food Standards Agency website.
Each business is given a food hygiene rating on a scale from 0 to 5, when it is inspected by the borough council. The top rating is ‘5’ - which means the hygiene standards are very good. The bottom is ‘0’ - which indicates urgent improvement is required.
The Council carries out regular checks on all food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained.
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National Food Hygiene Ratings
The food hygiene rating or inspection result given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection or visit by the local authority. The food hygiene rating is not a guide to food quality.
Find out if a restaurant, takeaway or food shop you want to visit in Stafford Borough has good food hygiene standards
The system is based on a star rating, which is calculated by taking into account how hygienic the premises are, whether they take into account recognised food hygiene practices and how much confidence the inspector has in the management to keep their premises up to standard.
Visits to premises are carried out, as far as possible, without prior notification and are priority programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories.
During an inspection, Officers will want to assure themselves that potential food safety risks have been identified by the business, and that there are adequate controls in place to prevent any problems. They will also look at the training of managers and food handlers to ensure that it is suitable, and they will check that the condition of the premises and equipment is satisfactory.
Where practices or conditions are not satisfactory, every attempt will be made to resolve the situation by informal means, but where poor conditions persist, or where there is a risk to public health it may be necessary to resort to formal action. This could involve either the service of a legal notice, prosecution, or in extreme cases closure of the business.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues national guidance on the frequency of food inspections. They may range from every 6 months to every 3 years depending on the risks associated with the type of food handled and the scale of the business. This authority inspects its registered food premises inline with the FSA guidance.
In extreme cases, where there is an imminent risk to health Environmental Health Officers can serve an Emergency Prohibition Notice to prohibit the use of a premise or a practice or even equipment. Any closure of this nature is immediate but must be confirmed by a magistrate's court at a later date.