When they think it is necessary, inspectors can take ‘enforcement action’, to protect the public. For example, they can:
Take samples and photographs of food
Write to the FBO informally, asking them to put right any problems
Detain or seize suspect foods
HEPNs, RANs and Other Stuff You Don’t Want
You can also be served with various notices if youget it wrong. Which is fair enough because with something like E. coli O157
you could kill a customer if you get it wrong. But unless your kitchen is an absolute toilet and really don’t give a toss they’ll generally work with you. If they need to get your attention there are three main types of notice:
Hygiene Improvement Notice or Food Labelling Improvement Notice – sets out certain things that must happen to comply, if the business is breaking the law
Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice– forbids the use of certain processes, premises or equipment and must be confirmed by a court
Remedial Action Notice – forbids the use of certain processes, premises or equipment, or imposes conditions on how a process is carried out. This is similar to a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice but it does not need to be confirmed by a court: this type of notice applies to approved establishments only in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and can be used for any food establishment in Scotland.) It is a criminal offence not to comply with a notice once served.
In serious cases inspectors can also recommend a prosecution. If a prosecution is successful, the court may forbid use of certain processes, premises or equipment, or individuals could be banned from managing a food business. Prosecution could also lead to a fine or imprisonment.