Ards Borough Council

1-2 March 2011

Executive summary

Ards Borough Council (BC) had a clear ‘Scheme of Delegation’ from the council to the Director of Environmental Services. Officers had been authorised correctly in accordance with the Food Law Code of Practice (Northern Ireland).

The council had a documented procedure for approving establishments subject to Regulation (EC) 853/2004. However for two of the five establishment files examined the approval process had been delayed beyond the six months laid down in Regulation (EC) 882/2004.

The Council had a documented procedure for carrying out food hygiene inspections and a review of the inspection records indicated the inspections were carried out by an appropriately experienced and authorised officer and at the correct frequency. In two of the five establishment files examined the food hygiene risk score given following an inspection did not reflect the factors to be considered in the Food Law Code of Practice (NI).

Ards BC had a documented food sampling policy and a risk based annual sampling programme.

Ards BC had well organised establishment files and records were easily retrievable. In the majority of cases the approved establishment files contained sufficient records and detail to support the food business operator (FBO)’s application for approval and describe the activities carried out by the FBO.

The council had a documented procedure for the issue of registration documents. However the issue of registration documents, checks to verify completion, and the use of registration documents by FBOs were not being carried out by the Council.

The council had a documented procedure for the temporary closure of a shellfish bed and included a requirement for shellfish bed harvester to identify the relevant interested parties for the bed.

Ards BC had establishments where charges could be levied under the Fishery Products (Official Control Charges) Regulations (NI) 2007. However charges were not being levied by the Council at these establishments.

The auditors, in conjunction with an authorised officer from Ards BC, carried out reality check visits at two approved establishments. The auditors noted the Council’s decision to approve both establishments was correct.