The Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation is responsible for ensuring that all food sold in Guernsey, Alderney and Herm is clean and safe for the consumer to eat. Any premises which stores, prepares, produces, cooks or sells food must comply with strict hygiene standards. Environmental Health Officers carry out a wide range of duties (including routine inspections, reactive complaint work and illness investigations) to safeguard the public health of all the people living in, or visiting, the Bailiwick.
Starting a new food business
There are a number of factors to consider before starting a new food business. These include registering the business, structural requirements of the premises and having appropriately trained staff. More detailed information is provided in the 'Starting a food business' document in the download section of this web page. You can also contact an Environmental Health Officer to discuss any specific queries.
Food hygiene inspections
All of the food premises within Guernsey are visited on a risk based frequency. The frequency of inspection can vary from every 6 months (for high risk premises) to over 2 years (e.g. a premises only selling types of pre-packaged foods which are not likely to cause food poisoning).
The criteria for the risk rating system are detailed within the Food Standards Agency's Food Law - Code of Practice.
Any complaints about food bought, provided or manufactured in the Bailiwick of Guernsey can be investigated by this Department.
If you have a sample of the food we will ask you to bring the food into our office. If you have a disability or are unable to come to the office we can arrange to collect the food sample from you. If you do not live in Guernsey you may be able to take the food to your own local authority, which can arrange to send it to us. If you cannot visit our offices immediately, it is usually advisable to freeze the product if it is perishable.
Many food complaints are related to food that originates from outside the Bailiwick. These complaints are still investigated by this Department but these matters are also referred to the 'home authority' or the 'originating authority' of the manufacturer.
- it is important that, where possible, you give us the food and any associated foreign objects as well as receipts, packaging and labels so that the complaint can be investigated as thoroughly as possible
- we do not routinely pass complainants' details to food businesses and would only do so with your permission unless the matter resulted in enforcement action and prosecution when you may be required to provide a witness statement and / or attend court as a witness
- whilst the department has a duty to investigate offences it cannot pursue any claims for compensation or recompense for loss of the food. This type of action may be taken as a civil matter.
If the complaint does not involve a food sample and is related to the structure or general practices within food premises then please contact an Environmental Health Officer so that all relevant information can be recorded and appropriate action taken.
Document downloadsApplication form for registration of a food business Food business registration form Starting a food business Advice for starting a new food business Structural requirements for a food business Structural requirements for a food business FSA - E.Coli guidance E.Coli cross contamination guidance
Relevant links & informationFood Standards Agency Food Standards Agency Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) Health Protection Agency Health Protection Agency US FDA Bad bug book Bad bug book
Environmental Health & Pollution RegulationLongue Rue, St Martins, GY4 6LD, Guernsey
Tel: +44 1481 711161 (Out of Hours - 725241) Fax: +44 1481 238031