Dealing with local officials

Environmental Health, Trading StandardsI was kept busy last week, we were visited by an Environmental Health Officer and two Trading Standards Officers. It’s two years since Trading Standards came last and six months for Environmental Health so we were not surprised to be visited.  As far as I am concerned they can visit as often as they feel they need too as I see them as advisors more than enforcement officers.  The first to visit our Herries Road store was the EHO, he wanted to see how we were managing our food operation. First he reviewed our chilled food control system, how we ensure that we don’t sell out of date or deteriorated products. We have a systematic approach to managing chilled food. We have a daily sheet to record the display chiller temperature, sell by dates and other actions. Designated staff undertake the job each day and make a written record of what they have done.

Each Monday one of our management team check that the records are up to date and verify that day’s accuracy. The EHO has checked our process on previous visits and is happy with what we do. During last week’s visit he went further and checked the set up of our food preparation area. He noted that we only had one sink for both food prep and hand washing and has instructed us to have a second sink installed to minimise the potential for cross contamination. With this instruction the visit was over and we have since arranged for a plumber to undertake the work next week.

The Trading Standards officer’s visit was a much simpler affair. Two officers came to check our range of spirits, no doubt you will have read in the trade press there is a purge on counterfeit whiskey, gin and vodka. The officers spent half an hour checking the bar codes on the bottles we had in stock and went away happy. We only buy from Booker so were totally confident that our stock was clean.  If you have concerns about any of the regulations that Trading Standards or Environmental Health cover either look on your local authority’s website or give them a ring. You help pay for the service that they provide through the rates and taxes you pay so you are entitled to their support.


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