EHO stands for Environmental Health Officer. If your business prepares, serves, or supplies food, you have to register it using either the food business registration service on GOV.UK or via your local authority website. Once your business is registered, and up and running an EHO from your local authority will arrange a visit to come and inspect your premises. Their job is to make sure the food products your business makes are safe for consumption.
What happens during an EHO visit?
In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Environmental Health Office will grant your business a score from the Food Hygiene Rating scheme of 0–5. You can read more about the rating scheme here. This scheme is the standard across both England and Wales to help maintain safety standards throughout all food businesses. Scotland has a similar, yet different system but instead of having 0-5 ratings, it’s a simple pass or improvement needed. You can read here all about Scotland’s rating system and how it varies.
If your business doesn’t do too well when it comes to the rating and is a particular establishment then it will be classed as high risk. This means that Environmental Health Officers will come back to inspect every 6 months. If low risk, the EHO officers visit less often, every couple of years or so. The risk classification also depends on the type of food business in question. Restaurants are classed as higher risk than a shop selling packaged food for example – and the level of concern a business is brought in from past inspections and those scores.
What EHO’s are looking for:
Food Hygiene – How food is stored, prepared, cooked, and handled.
Business Admin – Making sure the records are managed and how they ensure safety.
Premises – Checking the building’s layout, upkeep, layout, lighting, ventilation, and cleanliness.
What to do before an EHO visit:
One way to do so is to undertake online health and safety courses online. We have a variety of different courses that can be done online, and in minutes. All UK regulations, guidelines, and best practices have been followed to create our course content that works directly to educate learners, allowing them to fulfill their job roles safely and legally. When put into practice, the material in this course can help businesses achieve and sustain a high food hygiene rating for your business. All courses are fully accredited by The CPD Group.
Visit essentialfoodhygiene.co.uk to find out more.