The quality, composition, labelling, presentation and advertising of food is covered by legal requirements known as Food Standards. These also cover the suitability of materials and articles that come into contact with food.

Our Food and Safety team carry out Food Standards inspections to make sure that food meets the required legal standard. This includes proper presentation, labelling and advertising so as not to confuse or mislead; compliance with standards on the composition of food and the absence of non-permitted or excessive levels of additives, contaminants and residues. Premises are visited to make sure that food safety and food standards are not being compromised by poor operating standards or lack of management controls.

The food sampling programme is designed to check the chemical and microbiological standards of food sold within East Lothian to make sure it is fit for consumption and meets prescribed standards.

Complaints about food or complaints about food businesses are investigated where it is suspected that food:

  • may cause ill-health
  • is so contaminated that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be eaten
  • is unfit for human consumption

Advice available from our Food and Safety team includes:

  • Giving immediate advice over the telephone to food business operators and members of the public or to persons acting in a voluntary capacity for charitable organisations or community group
  • Giving specialist advice to food business operators on food standards and food labelling
  • Advising all food business operators on the development of their HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and Hazard Analysis Systems
  • Providing professional advice to other departments including Directors and other officers of the Council on food safety
  • Providing professional advice in the development of Council strategies on food safety, food standards and food borne illness