New figures reveal Bath & North East Somerset Council’s food hygiene team inspected more than three food business every day last year, in their ongoing drive to raise food hygiene standards and keep residents and visitors safe.
1,139 food hygiene inspections were carried out across the district in 2022.
Councillor Tim Ball, Cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services said: “When it comes to food safety prevention really is better than cure, so we carry out unannounced inspections to ensure food businesses are safe. Our Food Safety officers support food businesses, through education and advice, to comply with food safety laws and control risks. We will take enforcement action if necessary, but our priority is to work with businesses to raise standards.”
All aspects of a food business are inspected including how food is stored, prepared, produced and served. Fridge and freezer temperatures are checked, cleaning regimes verified, allergen controls monitored, and pest and waste control arrangements reviewed. Inspectors also require proof of staff food hygiene training and written food safety procedures. Businesses are then given a food hygiene rating, if eligible.
Currently across Bath and North East Somerset 982 businesses have been awarded the top level 5 hygiene rating. Among them is LJ Hugs, a Cajan street food business which operates from a gazebo in the centre of Bath. It’s founder Lewis Farquharson said: “If you want people to buy from you, they have to trust you, and to trust you they need to see that you’re clean.”
When the company first began operating staff had completed their Food Safety and Hygiene Training Levels 1 and 2, but according to Lewis were “still getting to grips with how it should be run daily.” One of the council’s Food Safety officers worked alongside the team pointing out areas which need work. Lewis added: “The Food Safety Officer came in and laid the foundation, she didn’t use our naivety or us being beginners against us. She worked with us to make it happen, so she was a major factor in us being successful in where we are today”.