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Food hygiene inspections

Inspection clipboard

We carry out food hygiene inspections to ensure local food businesses are compliant with food hygiene laws and producing food that is safe to eat.

Types of businesses do we inspect

We inspect the following types of food businesses:

  • restaurants
  • small retail outlets
  • caterers
  • butchers
  • sandwich bars
  • dairies
  • large manufacturing premises

How often we inspect

Our officers may visit on a routine inspection or because of a complaint.

How often we carry out routine inspections depends on the:

  • type of business
  • nature of the food
  • degree of food handling

Some businesses might be inspected at least every six months, others will be much less often.

Please note: it is an offence to obstruct an officer during an inspection. Obstruction may be physical, not providing information or giving the wrong information.

What we inspect

Our officers will inspect compliance with food hygiene law in the following areas:

What happens after an inspection?

After the inspection, you will receive the following:

  • officer report - detailing actions that are required by law and those representing good practice
  • Food hygiene rating scheme - this should be displayed in a prominent place such as front doors and windows

Follow up actions

Depending on the nature of the issues, the following actions may be taken to ensure compliance with food hygiene law:

  • verbal advice
  • a letter or informal notice
  • a hygiene improvement notice
  • a hygiene prohibition order (which can close the premises)
  • a prosecution
  • suspect foodstuffs may also be seized or detained

Please note: the course of action will depend on the circumstances found and past history.

Reference is also made to the environmental health enforcement policy.

Request a re-inspection

If you have carried out all the necessary actions to improve your food hygiene standards identified at the last inspection, you can request a re-inspection.

Re- inspections allow you to request a re-visit to your business to re-inspect food hygiene standards and re-rate your food hygiene score.

For more information please visit .

Reply to a rating

You have the right to reply to a food hygiene rating given to your business.

This allows you to explain actions that have been taken to improve your rating that were detailed in your inspection letter or to explain any unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection.

For more information see reply to a food hygiene rating.

Appeal a rating

You have the right to appeal a food hygiene rating if you feel it does not reflect the food hygiene standards and food safety management controls found at the time of the inspection.

For more information please visit appeal a food hygiene rating.

Requesting your rating to be published early

For businesses in England and Wales, the business owner or manager can request that a rating is published before the end of the 21 day appeal period. You can make this request online below.  You will be asked to provide: 

  • the details of the business
  • the date of the inspection
  • the rating given
  • your name and contact information

Form - Request for rating to be published early

How to achieve a high food hygiene rating

To find out how to achieve a high food hygiene rating score see achieving a high food hygiene rating.

Scoring highly can improve reputation, increase customer confidence and attract a higher amount of custom. Businesses with a rating of 3 or above will also be promoted on Preston's official visit website at Visit Preston - Food and Drink.

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