Food safety

Registering  Food Premises

By law premises used for a food business (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures) must be registered. The council keeps a list of such premises and undertakes regular inspections. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of business.

Register your food business online.

Low Risk Food questionnaire

If you have received a letter or email from us then your food premises is due for a routine food hygiene inspection.

Businesses considered to be low risk due to their nature, size and activity fall within a category E rating, an alternative intervention method can be used to assess the risk rating of these types of premises. We have developed the below questionnaire which can be completed as part of the alternative intervention.

You should only complete this form if you have received correspondence from us advising you to do so. Other forms of intervention may also be carried out.

Food Safety Questionnaire 

Food Hygiene Training

Everyone involved in a food business must be trained in food safety matters relevant to their role. Hart District Council is a registered food hygiene training provider with The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, and we are hoping to run future courses at the Council Offices, Fleet (subject to the current Coronavirus situation):

If you are a business and would like on site food hygiene training at your premises, please email us eh@hart.gov.uk.

For further information on health and safety courses or training visit the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website.

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Hart Council use the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme to provide information about hygiene standards in food businesses locally. View the ratings of food premises near you.

If you are a business operator and wish to request a re-rating revisit, please complete our online form. Please note there is a fee for this service.

You can also appeal your food hygiene rating, and further details can be found on the Food Standards Agency's website.

Allergen guidance for food businesses

Food business operators in the retail and catering sector are required to provide allergen information and follow labelling rules as set out in food law. This means that food business operators must:

  • Provide allergen information to the consumer for both prepacked and non-prepacked food and drink.
  • Handle and manage food allergens effectively in food preparation.

Food businesses must make sure that staff receive training on allergens. Staff can complete the Food Standards Agency food allergy training. Managers can also share their allergen checklist with staff for tips on food allergy best practice.

There is separate guidance for food manufacturers and institutional caterers.

Prepacked food for direct sale - changes to the law from October 2021

Natasha’s Law came into force on 1 October 20201 and means there are significant changes for the labelling of food pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS).

PPDS is food which is packaged at the same place it is offered or sold to consumers and is in this packaging before it is ordered or selected. It can include food that consumers select themselves (e.g. from a display unit), as well as products kept behind a counter and some food sold at mobile or temporary outlets.

Common foods that can fall into this category include sandwiches, salads and pies made and sold from the premises in which they are made. It is expected that the customer is able to speak with the person who made or packed the product to ask about ingredients.

Read Natasha’s Law in full to understand how the changes may affect your food business.

The Food Standards Agency has developed a decision tool to help determine if your food is PPDS and there is also detailed guidance on the requirements to label PPDS.

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute website features a multi-lingual food allergen awareness resource to ensure food business operators understand labelling requirements and changes to the law from 1 October 2021.

Approval of a food establishment

Certain food establishments are required to be approved rather than registered. If you handle products of animal origin, such as meat, fish, milk and/or eggs and you supply food to other food businesses, you may need to be approved. 

Establishments that are approved by Hart District Council are:

  • Meat preparation, cold store and re-wrapping and re-packaging establishments
  • Fish and shellfish establishments, including dispatch and purification centres, processing plants and fresh fishery establishments
  • Animal produce establishments that produce raw milk and dairy products and eggs and egg products, including packing centres, processing plants, liquid egg plants.

Establishments must be approved or conditionally approved before they can operate. If your establishment is already trading and you have not been conditionally approved, you need to make an application as soon as possible.

To apply for approval, please download, complete and submit the Approval of a Food Establishment Application Form.

If you are unsure whether any aspect of your food operations would require your establishment to be approved or should you have queries about the application and decision making process please contact us by email at eh@hart.gov.uk or telephone 01252 774421.

Record-keeping

We maintain an up-to-date database of food business establishments which have been approved or conditionally approved by us. Lists of approved food establishments are available at the Food Standards Agency website. 

Approval for the following establishments is undertaken by the Food Standards Agency:

  • Slaughterhouses
  • Cutting plants
  • Game handling establishments
  • Wholesale meat markets.

The Food Standards Agency contact details are: approvals@food.gov.uk and 01904 232060.

Safer Food Better Business

Safer food, better business (SFBB) has been designed by the Food Standards Agency to provide a practical approach to food safety management. This pack has been developed to assist small businesses put in place food safety management procedures and the pack helps food business operators produce the documentation that is required by food hygiene regulations. You can download an SFBB pack here

Environmental Health

The Environmental Health Department is responsible for the regulation of Food Safety within the district of Hart. It's duties include the following:

  • Enforcement of food hygiene legislation and Codes of Practice.
  • Inspection of food businesses
  • Investigation of food complaints and complaints against food premises
  • Investigation of suspected food poisoning/food poisoning outbreaks
  • The microbiological sampling of food
  • Inspection, seizure and detention of suspect food
  • Registration of all food businesses
  • Approval for the manufacture of animal products
  • Provision of advice and assistance to food businesses, other services within the Authority and the general public
  • Application of the Primary Authority principle
  • Training on Food Hygiene to businesses and individuals

Our Environmental Health & Licensing Enforcement Plan sets out the principles and the standards businesses and members of the public should expect.


How to contact Environmental Health

Email: eh@hart.gov.uk 

Phone: 01252 774421