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Food Law Inspections

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Food Law Inspections are carried out to identify the hazards associated with a specific food business and to assess the risk to public health from the food operations on the premises. Generally speaking, the legislation enforced during inspections is:

The Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and EC Regulation 852/2004

All food premises in Glasgow are inspected at a frequency which is proportional to their risk - in accordance with the Food Law Rating System published by the Food Standards Scotland. The highest risk premises will be inspected every month and, the lowest risk businesses may only be visited every 3 years. Factors which are taken into consideration in determining the risk include the type of food being handled, the number of consumers supplied, if vulnerable groups are supplied, conditions found at the time of inspection and the food business operator's history of compliance.

What does it involve?

  • A physical inspection of the premises
  • A review of food law documentation and records
  • An audit/observation of food handling and preparation practices
  • A discussion with food handlers

Inspections are carried out by environmental health officers or food safety officers and no prior notification is given to the food business operator (other than in some exceptional circumstances). An important part of a food inspection is to assess food handling practices. Consequently, inspections require to be carried out when premises are trading.

Additional Inspections

Additional inspections may be undertaken:

  • in response to complaints
  • for licensing purposes
  • or routine sampling of food and drink



Inspections are undertaken to assist businesses in complying with food hygiene requirements laid out in the Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and EC Regulation 852/2004.

Where an Officer is confident that prompt compliance will be secured an informal report will be issued confirming the points identified and/or agreed during the inspection. The report will identify details of any non-compliance with legislation identified during the inspection that require to be addressed.

In some cases formal action may be necessary. Generally this would involve the issue of a Hygiene Improvement Notice detailing the action required within a specified time period.


What Enforcement Action can be taken?

Types of action that can be taken:

Hygiene Improvement Notices

A Hygiene Improvement Notice will be issued if it is considered necessary to secure compliance with the Law. The time permitted for compliance with the notice will be determined by the officer, taking into consideration the nature of the non-compliance. However, this will be a minimum of 14 days.

Remedial Action Notices

Remedial Action Notices may be served in circumstances where urgent action is required to ensure food safety. A Remedial Action Notice may prohibit or restrict any activity which is giving rise to a food safety hazard and may even require the complete cessation of a food operation until urgent matters are addressed.

Closure of Premises

Officers may use Hygiene Emergency Prohibition procedures to close premises or prohibit the use of certain equipment of processes where there is considered to be an imminent risk to health. Examples may include where there is an active rodent infestation, no water on the premises, extremely poor hygiene practices or unacceptable condition of premises.


Prosecution is only considered appropriate in cases such as:

  • failure to comply with an Improvement Notice or a Remedial Action Notice
  • flagrant breach of the law
  • failure to correct a serious potential risk to public health
  • food poisoning incident
  • history of similar offence

In general terms prosecution is not the preferred action of the Service.


Do you require advice?

Advice on compliance is available free of charge, however the proprietor of the business will, in the end, require to decide how to resolve problems in the way most appropriate and practical to their particular business. In some cases the proprietor may require to seek specialist advice from another external provider.

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Last modified on 07 May 2024

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