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Business Advice: Food Safety and Standards Compliance

Pembrokeshire County Council recognises the importance of providing reliable, tailored advice to businesses. In particular it:

  • helps to build and maintain a positive working relationship between enforcement officers and businesses;
  • proactively assists timely compliance (and in the case of food businesses, helps the business to secure a good Food Hygiene Rating;
  • supports the adoption of best practice;
  • helps avoid unnecessary expenditure by businesses;
  • reduces the likelihood of costly food recalls;
  • reduces the likelihood of subsequent enforcement and potential fines;
  • helps businesses develop and maintain a good reputation;
  • helps protect our communities; and
  • contributes to the wider public health agenda.

Our Food Safety and Standards Team have traditionally provided advice and support to new and existing food businesses, supporting their efforts to comply with legal requirements and ultimately their economic success.

Why have we introduced charges?

In common with local authorities across the UK, we continue to face reductions in Government funding and as a consequence we are faced with difficult budget decisions.

The vast majority of functions performed by our Food Safety and Standards Team are statutory requirements and are delivered in accordance with statutory guidance. 

However, provision of advisory visits, and related consultancy-type activities, exceed what we are required to do, and unfortunately are no longer sustainable as a free service.

 

Advice Options: Fee-based Service

Our new ‘fee-based' advisory service for food safety and standards, will offer a wide range of advice, including:

 

  • Advice on premises layout, structure, facilities, equipment.
  • Advice on food safety practices and procedures (e.g. on temperature control requirements, and on how the business could meet guidelines to control the risk of E.coli cross-contamination, where appropriate).
  • Advice/support in developing a food safety management/HACCP systems and maintaining records that are proportionate to business.
  • Advice on the requirements relating to the training, instruction and supervision of food handlers.
  • Advice on the criteria considered under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and the general requirements to be met in order to attain a high rating - helping new businesses get off to a flying start.
  • Advice on/assistance with food sampling and the significance of any results.
  • Advice on complying with food allergen labelling/information requirements.
  • Advice on complying with other food labelling/ description/ advertising requirements.
  • Advice on food compositional requirements.
  • Approval of food labels/menus/websites/other advertisements prepared by the business.
  • Food premises audits (‘health checks').

with the decision ultimately resting with your business.

 

Service Charges

Any related service requests will carry a minimum, up-front fee of £90 (plus VAT), which will provide up to two hours advice/support.

Travel time and costs are not taken into consideration in calculating time expended, although the time involved in generating any agreed reports will be.

Any work exceeding the first two hours, will be charged at £45 per hour (plus VAT).

Prior to any service being delivered a time and cost estimate will be provided based on the nature and complexity of the business and scope of service being requested.

See our full terms and conditions

 

Free Advice

The following advice/support will continue to be provided for free:

  • Provision of basic, verbal information and/or advice in response to occasional telephone requests.
  • Issuing relevant guidance leaflets/booklets.
  • Issuing letters/e-mails to relevant business sectors, highlighting new/changes in legislation and guidance, and in support of particular awareness raising campaigns.

  • The provision of information via the advice section (opens new window) of the Council's web-site.

  • The provision or information and/or advice incidental to inspections and other regulatory visits.

In moving away from a free advisory service, added emphasis will be given to enhancing the above information, where possible, in order to maximise access to key information and support timely compliance.

 

Related Services

Food businesses with premises in both the County and at least one other local authority district, and local businesses selling foods outside of the County, are ‘eligible' to enter into a Primary Authority arrangement with the Council or another local authority of their choosing.

 

The benefit of a Primary Authority arrangement is that advice offered to the business will be ‘assured'.  In practice, enforcing authorities are required to have regard to any assured advice issued by a Primary Authority to a business when considering any possible enforcement.

For more information on these arrangements please contact us, or visit www.primaryauthorityregister.info

 

ID: 19520 Revised: 15/4/2016