Environmental health engagement
Environmental Health and Environmental Health Officers cover a large number of areas. Here is some information about each area.
The food team duties include inspecting food premises to ensure that the correct procedures and regulations are being followed so that safe food is being sold to the public. A food hygiene rating is given after each inspection, where 5 is good and 0 requires urgent improvement.
Contrary to common belief, we would not close a business down with a poor hygiene rating score of 0-1 unless there is an imminent risk to the public health – this would be something like a rat infestation or raw sewage in a kitchen. Instead, we work with the business to help increase the score by creating a safe food production area. This is through either informal action which includes issuing guidance and advice to the business or by using formal action which includes legal notices. These force businesses to comply with legislation or face prosecution. A further inspection is then conducted at a later date. However the 0 rating still stands at the premises until their next scheduled routine inspection. Businesses can pay for inspections to take place earlier than their next scheduled inspection.
We also work with food businesses by offering food hygiene training for their staff.
Other roles include investigating complaints from members of the public or from other businesses. These are kept anonymous. We would usually visit the premises to investigate and discuss the issue and we have a range of powers that we can use to investigate this. One of the things we can do, is take samples of food or swab food preparation areas and send these off for testing to monitor bacteria levels in kitchen areas.
A business in England does not have to display their food hygiene rating, this is only required in Wales and Northern Ireland. However it is an offence to display the wrong score. The correct score can be found at the following website https://ratings.food.gov.uk/. There can sometimes be a delay of a couple of weeks between the score being given and the website being updated. If you are unsure, the sticker will have a date on the back that states the date of the inspection.
If you have a food complaint or concerns around a food business, please contact: email@example.com
Health & Safety
The Health and Safety team focus on protecting workers and the public from risks associated with poor health and safety by monitoring the health and safety standards in a range of businesses.
We issue advice and guidance to businesses and work with them to ensure that risk assessments are carried out and followed by those in the business. In the unfortunate event that an accident at work or a work-related illness has occurred, our officers investigate this and have a range of enforcement options to help resolve the issue. If problems are found, formal action may be taken, which includes serving a legal notice to make the business comply with legislation or face prosecution.
Other roles that our Health and Safety officers have include inspecting and licencing skin piercers, which includes tattooists, semi-permanent make-up artists and other activities involved with piercing the skin to ensure that these clinics are working and operating in a safe environment. Officers also routinely sample public swimming pools and work with park homes and caravan sites to ensure these sites are operating safely.
In terms of acting on health and safety complaints we are only able to investigate against businesses that are operating. Unfortunately we are not able to help with issues around a domestic setting or a closed premises as we have no legislative powers to enforce.
Most of the time if there is a health and safety issue at a premises, unless it is of imminent risk, we cannot ask the business to resolve the issue overnight, as we are required by law to give the business a minimum of 21 days to complete the work.
If you have any queries or issues relating to Health and Safety, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Environmental protection covers a wide variety or work including;
- Statutory nuisance complaints ( e.g. noise, odour, dust, smoke)
- Air Quality across the whole Borough
- Environmental permitting for specific industry types
- Safety of private water supplies
- Contaminated Land
- Public Funerals and Exhumations
- Pest Control
The team use specialist equipment to monitor noise and air quality and also take samples for laboratory analysis.
Officers inspect a range of businesses such as dry cleaners, scrap metal dealers, crematoria, larger vehicle resprayers etc, to ensure that they are operating to their licence or permit conditions. Informal and formal action can be taken to achieve any necessary improvement.
As part of the development control process the team assess planning applications to recommend conditions to help control noise, contaminated land, air quality and dust and light to ensure that the development does not have an adverse impact upon neighbours and/ or the community.
If you do have an environmental protection issue, please contact the team at email@example.com. You can also log a complaint via our noise nuisance page.
- you can have a bonfire after a certain time – a lot of people think there are bylaws regarding when people can or can’t have garden bonfire. However, there are no times and the smoke from a bonfire can cause a nuisance at any time of the day.
- you can’t make as much noise as you like between 07:00 and 23:00 as it can be classed as a noise nuisance at any time of the day.
- a one off party will not necessarily be classed as a noise nuisance, but equally just because you inform your neighbours you are having a party doesn’t mean that you can make as much noise as you like.
The role of Public Health is to reduce health inequalities and to support residents to live well and for longer. Health is shaped by where and how we live but also by our own individual choices.
The Cheshire East Public Health team is made up of 4 different strands which support this:
- wider determinants: the wider influences on our health and wellbeing such as the environment around us.
- commissioning: the contracting and development of local services such as sexual health, health checks and substance misuse.
- intelligence: the interpretation of data-sets to indicate local need – commissioning decisions are led from this.
- business: the functions of governance, finance and asset management.
The biggest area that Environmental Health gets involved in with public health, is food poisoning. If a person is diagnosed with a food related illness they will be contacted by an officer who will investigate the possible cause.
In most cases food poisoning is very unlikely to be caused by the last place you ate. This is because it can take a significant amount of time for the levels of bacteria or virus to be high enough to make you ill. The only way to be certain of food poisoning, is to submit a sample to your GP and if you are found to have been ill, you will be contacted by your local environmental health team to follow up.
For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Housing Standards Team assess the condition of any residential property within Cheshire East to ensure that the property provides a safe and healthy environment for anybody. They assess any defects found during a house inspection, such as:
- unsafe electrics
- poor structure
Against the likelihood of that defect causing any risk. Should the property owner refuse to co-operate with us, there are a variety of enforcement powers available to resolve any failings in default.
The housing standards team review property conditions as well as the standards of management that’s provided in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). There are currently over 230 licensed HMO's in Cheshire East. These are properties that are shared by 3 or more persons who are not part of the same household, sharing facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. If the HMO has 5 or more occupants, it will require a licence.
Cheshire East Council does not own any housing stock for residential rental purposes. The majority of rental property is owned either by private landlords or registered social housing providers.
For more information please contact: email@example.com
Page last reviewed: 22 September 2023
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