What to expect from a food safety inspection

How to appeal against a decision of a food inspector

If you do not agree with a decision made by a food safety inspector, you should first discuss this with the inspector. If you are unable to resolve the issue with the person you have been dealing with, ask them for the name of their manager. You can then ask to speak with, or if you prefer, write to them to see if you can resolves the issue.

If you still disagree after this process, you should use the local council's complaints procedure to escalate your problem. After this, if your issue is still not resolved, you could contact your local councillor. If they still do not take steps to put things right, you can contact the Northern Ireland Ombudsman.

You can appeal to the magistrates' court if you are dealing with:

  • a hygiene improvement notice
  • a decision not to lift a hygiene emergency prohibition order 

You are not permitted to operate pending the outcome of an appeal against a withdrawal or refusal of approval.

Any food that the inspector has seized can only be classified as unfit for human consumption by a magistrate. You have a right to claim compensation if the court decides that:

  • the inspector has shut your premises without proper reason
  • food has been wrongly seized or detained