The Government has announced 'Local COVID alert level: high' restrictions for Stockton-on-Tees.
For further information about the rules and disruptions to Council services visit www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus.
With a variety of restaurants, cafes, delis and takeaways across the Borough, food safety is vitally important to ensuring our residents remain healthy.
We have a dedicated Food Safety team who offer advice to local businesses. The team also maintain a Food Premises Register, which details all food-related businesses in the area including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures.
The Food Safety Team are responsible for a range of food business related issues including:
- Support to the Foods Standards Agency
- Food safety inspections and investigations
The team also offer a variety of food safety training courses to ensure all staff within food-related business are trained to prevent any incidents of poisoning.
Incorrect preparation of food can result in residents suffering from food poisoning, a condition that can cause upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, fever and dehydration. There are also a range of more serious long term effects, including kidney failure and brain and nerve damage.
Food Premises Register and safety inspections
The Food Premises Register is a list of food-related businesses from the area. A food business is required by law to register with the local Environmental Health Service, this includes market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures.
We carry out regular checks on all food premises to ensure that high standards are maintained.
We will investigate complaints about the standards of food or food premises. We liaise with the owners of food businesses to give them appropriate opportunities to raise standards. We do prosecute when a business fails to comply with the law.
To help control the spread of illness, the service is involved in the investigation of outbreaks of food poisoning and other infectious food-borne illnesses.
We also undertake a comprehensive programme of microbiological food sampling. Results that are not satisfactory are investigated and we give advice to business owners about how they can improve manufacturing techniques or systems of handling and storage of food.
We have also joined forces with the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme which tells consumers about the hygiene standards of food premises to help them choose where to eat or shop for food.
Contact the Food Safety team on 01642 526575 if you any concerns about a food business that you have visited, or if you own a food business and would like advice about raising standards in your food establishment.
Food safety at home
Food safety is also important when preparing food at home.
Ensuring food is stored correctly will help avoid cross contamination of foods, which could lead to food poisoning. It is also important to cook food for the correct amount of time and eat produce within the recommended dates on the packaging.
The following websites provide more information and advice about food safety in the home.