Visits and inspections by the food safety team

Why we carry out inspections, who inspects food businesses, routine sampling of food, how often you can expect an inspection.

Role of the food safety team

By carrying out visits and investigations of food establishments we:

  • ensure that food is being handled and produced safely
  • look at the potential risk for food poisoning or injury as a result of food consumption
  • ensure that food is safe to eat
  • ensure that the staff handling food are trained in food hygiene practices
  • inspect the condition of equipment and the premises
  • ensure there are precautions in place to prevent pest infestation
  • ensure that staff are aware of the importance of personal hygiene
  • check for correct labelling of products, and carry out food sampling

All inspectors must follow the Food Law Code of Practice.

Who inspects food businesses

Our environmental health practitioners inspect food businesses in Haringey.

We recommend you always ask to see some form of official identification whenever someone comes to your business claiming they are council inspectors.

We normally carry out food inspections without prior notice, and the inspection time varies.

Officers may carry out a routine inspection or visit because of a complaint. They will look at the way you operate your business to identify potential hazards and make sure that you are complying with the law.

Routine sampling of food

Officers from the commercial environmental health team carry out routine sampling of food from food businesses in Haringey.

Samples are tested to check:

  • the ingredients match the labelling information
  • they do not contain any non-permitted additives
  • they do not contain dangerous bacteria

If a product is found not to comply with standards, we can insist on it being removed from sale.

How often you can expect an inspection

How often we inspect businesses depends on the:

  • kind of business
  • risk associated with a particular business
  • condition of the business at the time of inspection

For example, a restaurant poses a higher potential risk than a shop selling only packaged food. Therefore, we generally need to inspect restaurants more often.

Inspection intervals usually range from every 6 months (highest risk) to every 5 years (lowest risk).

Our policies and standards

Read more on our team's role and our service standards in the documents below:

See also our service standards document