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Food Safety

When eating out or buying food we all take for granted that what we're eating won't do us any harm. How often is food safety a consideration?

We are responsible for making sure that restaurants, cafes, caterers and takeaways use the best possible hygienic practices. We enforce the Food Safety Act 1990 and associated legislation.

We educate businesses on food safety and encourage them to follow best practice. In addition to food hygiene training we run schemes like Safer Food Better Business, which is aimed at setting high standards.

Report a problem

Use the buttons at the top of this page to make a complaint about a food business or product if you are unhappy with food hygiene standards. This can include dirty conditions, unhygienic food handling, unexpected objects in your food, mouldy food, or food that has made you ill.

You should report your complaint to Trading Standards instead of us if:

  • you feel the food does not live up to its description,
  • you have a complaint about the food labelling, or
  • for the sale of out of date products.

We only deal with food premises based in the borough of Ashford.

Please note, we will investigate all areas of the premises in relation to the complaint, including practices and cleanliness, and take any action necessary to improve standards if and where required. However, we do not get involved in civil compensation claims.

Food Business Registration

We are responsible for registering and inspecting all food premises. We also assess them for hygiene and food safety standards. Find out more about registering a food business.

For advice on getting ready to start your food business visit the Food Standards Agency’s website.

It also has information on how to prepare for your first food hygiene inspection.

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme


You can check a food hygiene rating for any food business. This informs consumers about the food hygiene standards of local food businesses.

Appeal a Food Hygiene Rating for Businesses

If you have received a Food Hygiene Rating and you are not satisfied with the result there are a number of things you can do. Find out more on our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme for Food Businesses page.

Annual Food Plan

Annual Food Plan 2018-19 [pdf] 264KB

Our Annual Food Plan details our aims and objectives, and summarises our achievements from the past year.

What's the difference between 'best before' and 'use by' dates?

Watch this handy video explaining food dates.

Contact us

Email the Food Safety Team.