What to Expect From An Environmental Health Officer (EHO) Visit? Here is All You Need to Know!

If you are running a food business, always be prepared for an EHO visit because they don’t need to make an appointment to inspect your business and meet with you. The EHO will check whether you are following best practices and in accordance with the requirements of the Food Standard Agency (FSA) or not. When an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) conducts a visit to food businesses, it is essential to anticipate a thorough inspection to ensure compliance with food safety laws and regulations. EHO visits are typically conducted regularly, with the frequency determined by the level of risk associated with the food premises. During these visits, particular attention is given to personal hygiene practices to mitigate the risk of food poisoning. EHOs assess whether food businesses adhere to stringent food safety standards, ensuring that the premises meet the necessary hygiene and sanitation requirements. The EHO will examine the implementation of effective measures to prevent contamination and cross-contamination in accordance with food safety laws. Business owners can expect the EHO to provide guidance on best practices and address any issues identified, fostering a safer environment for both workers and consumers. Regular EHO visits play a pivotal role in upholding public health standards and minimising the potential risks associated with food handling and preparation.

Environmental health officers (or EHO) play a crucial role in ensuring public safety through their regular EHO visits to establishments. These dedicated professionals meticulously inspect the implementation of a robust food safety management system, evaluating not only the physical conditions but also scrutinising personal hygiene practices of the staff. In the event of serious lapses, EHOs have the authority to issue a hygiene emergency prohibition notice, swiftly addressing potential risks. By emphasising the importance of stringent food safety practices, these officers contribute to a healthier environment and safeguard the community from preventable health hazards.

After the survey, your business can get 0 to 5 stars. They follow the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme to award the stars. A higher rating can increase the perception of your business. Your team should have a good knowledge of food safety management any of the team may need to answer the questions from the EHO. Let’s learn more about the procedure of an EHO visit.

What is the Visiting Time of An EHO?

When can environmental health officer visit? EHOs can visit and inspect your business at any reasonable time and on any day of the week. They have the authority to visit unannounced and you cannot stop them from entering your premises. Normally an EHO can visit your business yearly or on a six-monthly routine, but it depends on the type of your business; if you had received a warning, the visit could be a bit more impromptu.

So, always stay alert and follow the food safety laws and best practice as part of your daily operation.

What Do EHOs Search For?

EHOs will see whether you are working according to the food laws or not. They will check the following aspects.

  1. Personal hygiene
  2. Labeling of food
  3. Maintenance of equipment
  4. Prevention of contamination
  5. Techniques of cleaning
  6. Condition of the building
  7. Preparation and storage of food
  8. Is the food hygienic or not?

In the best scenarios, Enforcement Officers should be working with you to support your businesses operating as safely as possible and the recommendations they make are based on this. There remit is now quite broad and so may as many questions regarding your business.

What Are the Authorities of EHOs?

If an EHO officer finds that your business is not operating according to the food safety laws and is unsafe for people, they can take legal actions. They the power to

  1. Remove Unhealthy Food

If an EHO thinks that a dish is unhealthy or unfit to be served, he can remove it from the menu. They do not need any permission for that as well.

  1. Give Legal Notices

After the survey, you will receive a report from EHS (Environmental Health Service). It will either confirm that your business is fit to go or you need to improve it. If there are too many improvements, you may even have to temporarily close your business. You may be given one of the following legal notices:

  1. Hygiene Improvement Notice
  2. Emergency Hygiene Prohibition Notice


If you break food laws, the EHS can start a prosecution in court. It can lead to fines, prison sentences, or a permanent ban on your food business.

An Environmental Health Officer (EHO) brings expertise honed through environmental health certification and specialised environmental management training to the forefront of the environmental health sector. Equipped with in-depth knowledge gained from rigorous environmental health courses, these officers navigate complex health and safety legislation with ease. Expect an EHO to address a spectrum of environmental health issues, ranging from air and water quality to food safety and waste management. Their role encompasses proactive inspection, risk assessment, and enforcement measures to ensure compliance and safeguard public health within communities and industries.

The purpose of an EHO visit is to help customers stay safe and for businesses and staff to maintain the food quality. They determine whether a food business is operating according to the food laws or not. The stars given by them can be of great significance and demonstrates to customers your business is operating safely and follows best practice.

So, ensure all staff understand and operate in accordance with the correct processes and utilise the correct food safety management systems.

Let Mindboost help your team with their training by covering Level 2 Food Hygiene, Level 2 Health & Safety, Enforcement Office Visits and HACCP.

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Caleb Foster Digital Learning Geek
After gaining more than 20 years of experience in operational excellence in the hospitality and digital learning sectors, Caleb wanted to rid the world of dull ‘click next’ and ineffective elearning and solve the epidemic of uninspiring digital learning. Mindboost began back in 2016, when Caleb, saw a huge opportunity to create better quality digital learning content that connects with learners emotionally to encourage a desire to learn more. Caleb realised there was a lack of true understanding of an organisation’s culture and inner-working when learning providers were presented with a request from a client. So, the Mindboost team get under the cover of an organisation’s performance need and ultimately look to connect with learners emotionally. When a learner is connected emotionally, they tend to start believing in a change, this then generates a feeling and makes a greater impact within the organisation than just conveying information.