Food Standards

At Cheshire East Trading Standards we aim to protect consumers and assist Cheshire-based businesses by carrying out a variety of food-related activities. We are responsible for the enforcement of the Food Safety Act 1990 (as amended), and other associated legislation and we aim to ensure the integrity of food standards throughout the food chain. This can include checking legislative compliance with areas including: food labelling, species & meat contents, ingredient composition, claims and descriptions as well as with weights & measures requirements. Whereas, Environmental Health have a role which involves checking compliance with the safety of food and the hygiene of premises used to store, prepare or serve food.

If you feel you have a justified complaint in relation to Food Standards, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4040506 or via the Citizens Advice online complaint form, who will forward it to us so that we can take the appropriate action, if necessary.

What do we do?

  • We carry out a planned programme of interventions, such as inspections, of the different types of food premises that exist in Cheshire East, including bakers, butchers, grocers, fish mongers, food manufacturers, supermarkets, cafés, restaurants and public houses, as well as at local markets, shows & events. For example, we check compliance against national food labelling requirements and compositional standards for foods sold pre-packed or loose throughout the food chain. We will also examine food menu descriptions to check that they are accurate and that any claims made, for example, with regard to provenance or origin are correct.
  • We can take samples of food and drink which are then tested and analysed. This is done to check, for example, that the declared nutritional information is correct, that the name of the food is not misleading or that spirit drinks have not been watered down or replaced with inferior substitutes.
  • We react to food safety alerts issued by the Food Standards Agency. We work closely with Cheshire food manufacturers and provide compositional and labelling advice. We also field enquiries from other local authorities from around the country about Cheshire East-based businesses.
  • We deal with complaints from the public about the composition and labelling of foods sold within Cheshire East, such as where there might be a suggestion that food is not as described. This may involve us making contact by an arranged visit to a business or individual, or perhaps when necessary an unannounced spot check may be undertaken.
  • We follow up incidents of food sold past its use-by date, as this type of food is generally more perishable and could make people ill if the eaten after the marked date. Foods labelled with a use-by date must be sold or disposed of before the end of the marked date. Best before dates however are advisory and indicate the period up to when the food will be at its best. It is not an offence to sell food beyond a ‘Best Before’ date, although it is good practice not to.

Registration of a Food Business

All food businesses must be registered with or in certain cases approved by Environmental Health. Please see our pages on Registration of Food Business.

Further Advice and Guidance