Food Hygiene Inspections

We inspect all food businesses that produce, prepare and supply food to the public. We do not have to make appointments to inspect.

Inspections may be planned, as part of the routine inspection programme. They may also be carried out when we visit to investigate a complaint, for example allegations of food poisoning, poor hygiene or food containing foreign material.

We wish to work in partnership with local food businesses to protect the public, and can offer advice and assistance on food safety issues.

On this page:

Businesses that we inspect

Examples of food businesses that we inspect include:

  • public houses
  • corner shops
  • takeaways
  • cafes
  • school kitchens
  • residential homes
  • community halls
  • nurseries
  • home caterers
  • food mobiles
  • bakers
  • butchers
  • supermarkets
  • food manufacturers
  • food warehouses.

Making an inspection

When we inspect your business, we will be checking that you are complying with food law.

Visit the Food Standards Agency website for information on food safety inspections and food safety management

At the time of our visit you can expect us to:

  • be courteous
  • show you official identification
  • give feedback on what can be done to improve hygiene
  • give feedback on what practices and hygiene management systems are working well
  • make a clear distinction between what is required by law and what is recommended as good practice
  • provide written reasons explaining any action we will be taking, including the relevant section of the Act or Regulation
  • give you a reasonable time to comply with any legal requirements, unless the matter is of serious risk to public safety
  • tell you the procedure for appealing against any action, or requesting a second opinion.

After the inspection

At the conclusion of the inspection, we will leave a handwritten report detailing any works which are necessary.

Our findings at the time of the visit are used to calculate when the next inspection will be undertaken, and provide you with your food hygiene rating.

The frequency of planned inspections depends on the potential risk posed by your type of business, along with the level of hygiene, structure, management control and the previous standards. 

Inspection frequencies are generally:

  • higher risk businesses: every six to 12 months
  • medium risk businesses: every 18 to 24 months 
  • lowest risk businesses: at least every 36 months (contact by letter, email or phone).

Food Safety Enforcement Policy

The document below informs you how we enforce food hygiene legislation. It also tells you what to expect from enforcement officers when they visit your business, and what guides them when carrying out inspections and dealing with breaches in the law.

Icon for pdf Food Safety Enforcement Policy [228.55KB]

Food sampling

In addition to food hygiene inspections, we carry out a range of sampling of food businesses in New Forest.

Our Food Sampling Policy sets out:

  • our approach to food sampling
  • the circumstances under which samples may be taken
  • the range of samples taken. 

You can download our Food Sampling Policy below.

Icon for pdf Food Sampling Policy [108.01KB]

Contact details

For further information about food safety inspections, contact us using the details below.


Phone: 023 8028 5411

Environmental Health
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

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