Food safety and standards
Food businesses have a responsibility to ensure food and drink sold in Redbridge is safe to consume.
Our role is to promote and regulate food safety in food premises within the London Borough of Redbridge and control and investigate outbreaks of food poisoning.
We advise the general public and new and existing businesses on good practice in relation to food safety. We also carry out visits and investigations of food establishments to ensure that food is being handled and produced hygienically and is safe to eat.
We are supporting local businesses during the pandemic. The Redbridge Covid Assurance Scheme is available for food premises to gain a consumer mark award, which recognises that your business has clear processes in place to protect the safety of your customers and clients.
Whether you are a customer or a business, it is important to ensure that any food you buy or sell is labelled and produced in the correct way.
The Environmental Health Officers monitor food standards in the borough’s food businesses by:
- inspecting food premises to check menu descriptions, claims and food quality
- checking food labels, composition, additive levels, and materials and articles in contact with food
- checking on 'use by' and 'best before' dates
- taking samples of food and drink for analysis
- investigating complaints about food and food premises
- offering advice to consumers and businesses
We understand that businesses and customers may look to change the way in which they deliver and order food during this difficult time. We have delivery advice for businesses and customers looking to make provision for takeaways. Scientific advice is that it is very unlikely that COVID-19 can be spread through food.
People with food allergies have to be careful about what they eat and rely on food labels to make sure the ingredients are safe for them to eat.
For advice on allergen labelling visit the Food Standards Agency website.
The London Borough of Redbridge is partnering up with the FSA, Allergy UK and The Anaphylaxis Campaign to launch Easy to ASK, a campaign aimed at encouraging and supporting young people with food sensitivities to ask food service providers about allergens in their products and meals.
'Easy to Ask' Food allergy campaign
The campaign aims to address the fear of eating out.
The Anaphylaxis Campaign reveals that 41 per cent of young people (16-24-years-old) with food allergies or intolerances don’t feel confident at all or only feel a little confident to ask serving staff for allergen information. The research also reveals that 60 per cent of those surveyed avoid dining out due to their condition.
Our Food Officers will promote the Easy to ASK campaign by reminding food businesses within the borough to ask customers about their dietary needs and help put people with food allergies (especially those who are young and may be embarrassed) at ease.
It follows the simple prompt:
- always ask about allergies
- speak up
- keep safe
Food Safety Inspections
The Food Team is responsible for inspecting food businesses regularly. We work closely with Public Health England and the Public Health Laboratory Service.
There are approximately 1750 registered food businesses in the borough. During an inspection, the premises and food safety procedures are assessed for compliance with the Food Hygiene Regulations.
Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
All of the London Borough of Redbridge’s food hygiene ratings are on Food Standards Agency website.
All food businesses inspected by the Food Team are given a rating based on their compliance with legal requirements for hygiene, structure condition and confidence in the management.
Following a food hygiene inspection, a business is rated from five for a very good through to zero for those premises that need to improve urgently.
It is currently voluntary in England for the businesses to display the rating.
What can the owner of a business do if they think the rating given is unfair or wrong?
Notes for businesses:
- As the food business operator of the establishment, you have a right to request a re-visit for the purposes of re-rating if you have taken action to rectify the non-compliance identified at the time of inspection.
- You can make a request for a re-visit at any time after the statutory inspection provided that you have made the required improvements. We will charge for this re-visit. The fee currently is £210. There is no limit on the number of requests you may make. Payment options are detailed below.
- You must provide details of the improvements made with your request, including supporting evidence where appropriate.
- If we consider that you have provided sufficient evidence that the required improvements have been made an officer will make an unannounced visit. This re-visit will be carried out within three months of the receipt of your request and payment of the fee. (if you were only required to make permanent structural improvements or repairs or to upgrade equipment, we can choose to carry out the requested re-visit sooner than this). The fee must be paid at the time of application for a re-visit and the three month period will only start once the fee has been received. Note: If we do not receive full payment within 21 days we will assume you do not wish to proceed.
- When we complete the revisit inspection we will give you a ‘new’ food hygiene rating based on the level of compliance at that time- you should be aware that your rating could go up, down or remain the same.
- To make a request for a revisit, please use the online application form.
Appeal against your hygiene rating
The owner or manager of the business should talk to the officer that inspected the business about why the rating was given.
If the business owner or manager still thinks that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing.
How to Pay:
We will send you an e-invoice link prompting you to make payment by credit or debit card using our secure 24 hour online payments system for your food hygiene re-rating request. We accept most major credit or debit cards. Please use the link to make your payment and follow the on-screen instructions. The payment link will remain active for 14 days. When you have made payment we will send you an automated e-receipt of your payment.
Improve and maintain a hygiene rating of 5
If you're opening a new restaurant, large or small catering business or want to make food hygiene improvements to your business we can provide you with the support, advice and guidance to help you improve or maintain your food hygiene rating of 5.
Often, when considering eating out the first opinion on your premises from a customer's viewpoint will be your food hygiene rating score as a benchmark of your hygiene standards. The scheme gives businesses a rating from 0 to 5 which is displayed at your premises and online so customers can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food. A food hygiene rating score of 5 is top of the scale, this means the hygiene standards are very good and fully comply with the law.
The ratings are a snapshot of the standards of food hygiene found at the time of inspection and are broken down as follows:
5 - hygiene standards are very good
4 - hygiene standards are good
3 - hygiene standards are generally satisfactory
2 - some improvement is necessary
1 - major improvement is necessary
0 - urgent improvement is required
It applies to all food establishments such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, juice bars, sandwich shops, wine bars, takeaways, hotels, supermarkets, butchers and catering establishments also food shops, cinemas, schools and college kitchens etc.
Food businesses will receive a tailored and professional service from an experienced Food Hygiene Consultant designed for them to understand what’s needed to achieve the highest rating score under the National Food Hygiene Scheme.
Who is it for?
- For start-up businesses and newly registered food businesses. To Improve or Maintain a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 is regarded as essential for people new to food businesses
- Existing businesses can also take advantage to Improve or Maintain a Food Hygiene Rating of 5
What will you receive?
- An onsite visit delivered by an experienced and qualified Food Safety Officer.
- An understanding of how the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme works so that the knowledge can be applied in your own food business, with the aim of improving, achieving and maintaining a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 and keeping your business safe.
- At the end of the onsite visit results of a mock food hygiene inspection will be discussed with you and you will be offered advice and guidance on improving your hygiene performance. You will receive a simple and easy to understand action plan report at the end of the visit.
- Include an up to date “Safer Food Better Business” pack and diary for new businesses.
- Detailed advice and guidance tailored to your menu on what allergen information you must provide in order to comply with Food Information to Consumers Regulation.
Safer food, better business
Safer food, better business (SFBB) is an innovative and practical approach to food safety management. It has been developed to help small businesses put in place food safety management procedures and comply with food hygiene regulations.
If you want to use the FSA (Food Standards Agency) SFBB pack as your Food Safety Management System, we can help. Your food hygiene consultant will visit to help you implement and customise the SFBB pack so that it reflects your operation.
The consultancy service will help you to prepare for your next food safety inspection and achieve the required level of food safety compliance.
Cost £70 / hour + VAT - onsite consultancy is charged per hour with a minimum of two hours per booking.
How to Pay:
Please email email@example.com for further information or to book an appointment. Once the consultancy service has been agreed we will send you an e-invoice link prompting you to make payment by credit or debit card using our secure 24 hour online payments system. We accept most major credit or debit cards. Please use the link to make your payment and follow the on-screen instructions. The payment link will remain active for 14 days. When you have made payment we will send you an automated e-receipt of your payment.
The Food Team also:
- fully investigate food complaints which pose a significant Public Health Risk
- investigate cases of food poisoning and other infectious diseases.
- investigate possible food safety offences.
- advise customers on low-risk food complaints
To complain we will need to know:
- where and when you bought the food – it must have been bought in Redbridge
- how you discovered the cause for complaint
- how you stored the food since you bought it
- how the food was packaged when you bought it
- did the food injure you or make you ill
Once you have complained we will provide you with an initial assessment of your complaint and will ask for details of how we can keep in touch with you.
You can contact the Food Team online.
Register a Food Business
It is required by law to register a food business with the local authority for that area. The registration form should be submitted to the Food Safety Team at least 28 days before a food business begins trading.
Every food premises (e.g. restaurants, takeaways, caterers, canteens etc) in the borough must be registered with us so we know who is trading in food, where they are and what sort of food they are selling.
There is no charge for registration.
We do not send confirmation of receipt of your application.
As you are registering your food business, why not consider applying for the Healthier Catering Commitment award? Most food businesses and takeaways are eligible and you may already be meeting the criteria. For further details visit the Healthier Catering Commitment web page.