Food Safety

Food sold for human consumption must be safe to eat, free from contamination and prepared in a clean and hygienic manner. The task of ensuring that restaurants, cafes and take-a-ways serve only food prepared under the best possible hygiene conditions falls to Mid Sussex District Council’s Food Safety Team. The team is based at the Council Offices in Haywards Heath and we are responsible for approximately 1,350 food premises in the District.

Our Environmental Health Officers and Food Safety Officers cover the following:

  • Carry out programmed food hygiene inspections
  • Advise food businesses on how to comply with the law
  • Investigate complaints of food which is a danger to health
  • Respond to premises hygiene complaints from the consumer
  • Investigate allegations of food poisoning
  • Carry out bacteriological sampling of food for sale
  • Close food premises that pose an imminent risk for health
  • Provide free information, advice and literature

Information for the Public

Food Complaints

If you wish to complain about food that you have bought, or about standards that you have seen in a food business please contact us. We will then investigate your complaint and, if necessary, undertake an inspection. Any complaint is dealt with in confidence and will help prevent any further problems occurring.

Food Poisoning and Infectious Diseases

The Health Protection Agency have a duty to inform Environmental Health of any cases of food poisoning, infections or other diseases which may be spread by food or water. If you think your illness has been caused by food from a restaurant or other food business, we need to be informed so that we can investigate the business in question and ensure that the infection is not passed on to others. For further information please see the Food Poisoning and Infectious Diseases page.

National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Have you ever wondered about the hygiene of your favourite restaurant’s kitchen? The Council is part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and gives food business a rating for their food hygiene. This allows you to make informed decisions about where to eat and purchase food.

Information for Food Businesses

Our Officers also offer advice and assistance to:

If you work in the food trade you have a legal and moral responsibility to your customers and there are certain general and specific requirements specified by the Food Legislation that you are expected to comply with. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme means that your food business will be given a rating based on a visit to your premises and assessment carried out by our Officers. It is obviously not good for the reputation of your food business if you receive a low rating. Our Officers and the advice provided on our website can help you to meet the food hygiene requirements and maximise your rating.

Latest Guidance for Food Businesses from the Food Standards Agency

New Allergen Rules

The FSA has produced a series of publications to help small and medium sized food businesses comply with new allergen rules. The EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (1169/2011) introduces new allergy rules which take effect on 13 December 2014. This includes changes to current allergen labelling rules for pre-packed foods, and a new requirement affecting businesses that provide non-pre packed food or loose foods such as restaurants, takeaway businesses, bakeries, delicatessens, food suppliers and institutional caterers. The publications aim to generate awareness and improve understanding of the new allergen rules, including advice on safer allergen management practices, and are available to download from the FSA website:


Food Safety Team
Tel: (01444) 477433