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Environmental Health and Health Equalities Services

Safeguarding and improving public health and safety.

We provide a wide range of services, to find out more about a particular service, please click on the link on the right.

Recent News

Farmer prosecuted for causing local residents misery

When residents of a rural hamlet in East Devon found their homes filled with hundreds of common houseflies from a nearby poultry shed, they turned to Environmental Health for help. Following a lengthy investigation, and numerous occasions when advice was not followed, we served an abatement notice requiring the farmer to take specific action to reduce the numbers of flies breeding in the sheds. Further complaints and investigation showed the action had not been taken. An expert called to assist with the investigation found that the sheds had the worst infestation he had seen in his thirty years of working in the field, and estimated that some three million fly larva were in the poultry manure on the day of his visit.

The Environmental Health Service prosecuted the farmer, and following a three day court case he was found guilty of not complying with the abatement notice. He has now carried out works to reduce the fly population in the sheds and this summer the residents have had no fly nuisance for the first time in many years.

National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Have you ever wondered how hygienic the kitchen of your favourite place to eat out is? Or the shop where you buy your weekly groceries?

There is a scheme running which allows food businesses to be graded on the food hygiene standard found at the last inspection, and provides the business with a sticker to put in the window to show the public what grade they were awarded. Members of the public can also go on line to check out their choice of business, and make informed choices about the places where they eat out or buy food from; even if the business decides not to display the sticker.

Food Hygiene Rating

Each food business is inspected regularly by Environmental Health Officers from the Commercial Team of the Service, and as part of the inspection each business is given a rating for the standard of hygiene found at the premises. This covers;

  • How hygienically the food is handled – safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.
  • The condition and structure of the premises – cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.
  • How the business manages and documents food safety – procedures for safe food production, staff training records, evidence of pest control, daily management checks etc.

There are six possible ratings a premises can be awarded, with the top rating of 5 meaning the business has achieved a very good standard of compliance with the law. Any business, no matter how small, should be able to achieve the top rating.

When we have finished the inspection we provide the business with a certificate or sticker which they can display on the premises. We are also putting the rating on the national ratings website so that you will be able to look up most food businesses in East Devon and see what their score is.

The Team are introducing the scheme as we carry out the routine inspections and the businesses are added to the database as we visit them. It will probably take about two more years for most food businesses in East Devon to be added to the database.

Some businesses will not be included, such as those where the personal name and address of the business owner would be made public, (such as childminders and small residential homes) and very low risk premises which are exempt from the scheme. So petrol stations selling food, or small bed and breakfast businesses are not on the website.

Highlighting the work of Food Inspectors for school children

Kitchen Inspection Photo

The Environmental Health Officers of the Commercial Team took part in the "11 Million Take Over Day" the Council organised on the 11th of November for year six primary school children. The Team took over the council kitchens for the day and spent some time  creating Sam and Ellas Grotty Cafe, a "kitchen from hell" with out of date and 'off' food, cigarette ends and evidence of pest infestations.  Some of the team acted out scenes of food preparation while creating some serious cross contamination risks and other examples of poor hygiene practices, and we asked the children to spot the hazards.

Neighbourhood Assessment

The Environment Protection Team are carrying out continuing joint ventures with a number of partners to find out whether the residents of East Devon have any concerns about their local area, and whether they think they are a good place to live.

Environmental Health staff, local Police Officers and Health Protection Agency staff have already carried out door to door surveys in seven of our larger towns. Recently we started surveys in some of the very small villages and out of the way hamlets across the district that could have greater problems accessing Coucil services, to see what sorts of problems they have, and how to help them solve them. The process has helped the various agencies in the District to improve communication and co-operation in dealing with issues.

You can view the results of all of the neighbourhood assessments, or if you would like more information on this please contact Debbie Challis on 01395 571570, or use the 'contact us online' form at the top of this page.

Environmental Health Customer Charter

Front cover of leaflet

We are determined to provide the best environmental health service possible to our businesses, residents and visitors in East Devon. You can download a copy of our PDF file Customer Charter (258KB Portable Document Format - 22 October 2009 - PDF Help)

Page last updated on 28 January 2015