Environmental Health Department - all matters ( 10.8.1.L5 )
Environmental Health Department
Updated: 17 January 2017
Words you may need to know
Environmental - relating to looking after the natural world
Inspect- check , look over
Compliance - meeting standards or agreeing to do something
Preventative - to stop something before it happens
Foreign bodies - something introduced from outside into a place where it does not belong
Unavoidable - difficult to prevent from happening
Incubation - the development of an infection inside the body to the point at which the first signs of disease become apparent
Gastro intestinal - the stomach, belly
Polluted - soiled, dirty , contaminated. Unclean or harmful matter introduced to something making it impure
Contamination - similar to polluted
The Department comes under the umbrella of The Environment Department and is based at Maison Le Pape, The Parade, St. Helier, Jersey, JE2 3PU. Telephone 445808.For more information see: https://www.gov.je/environment/environmentalhealth/Pages/index.aspx
- The Department carries out duties under the public health law - Loi (1934) Sur La Sante Publique and have powers to inspect properties where it is judged that the conditions are harmful to the public health of the occupants. In extreme cases the Department can recommend that a Closing Order or Demolition Order is carried out to prevent further occupancy until the hazard/s are put right. See also 11.8.52.L2 Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999.
- The present law does not lay down any "standards of fitness" for occupancy the draft Housing Standards Law will give the Department wider powers to deal with a wide range of issues such as the environment, repair, overcrowding, fire precautions etc.
- The Department will always investigate complaints from you provided they are satisfied that the problem has already been notified to your landlord and they have failed to carry out the necessary repairs within a reasonable period of time. The department administers ‘Rent Safe’, a landlord accreditation scheme recognising good landlords. Those landlords who are already registered can be viewed at www.gov.je/rentsafe
- The department enforces the Residency Tenancy Law. If you are at threat of illegal eviction you can contact the department.
- Inspect and provide housing condition reports where referrals are received from GPs, Social Security, Andium or other official bodies
- There are standards laid down to control the Seasonal Workers Accommodation. For lodging houses, the Population Office have standards which must be kept to.
- Members of the public can complain to the Department about a particular food premises.
- A food business owner can ask for advice from the Department..
- The Department carries out inspections of licensed premises at the request of the Constables.
- The Food Safety (Jersey) Law 1966 empowers the Environment Minister to take action if food premises fall below the appropriate standards. The Law, enables Environmental Health Officers to investigate complaints about food health risks and carry out unannounced food hygiene inspections of premises. Businesses are inspected anywhere between every six months to five years, depending on their level of risk and compliance.
- Under the Food (Registration of Premises)(Jersey) Order 2001 all premises used for or in connection with a food business have to register with Environmental Health. The department will inspect commercial food premises and provide preventative advice and information before a food risk gives rise to any serious health issues.
- Environmental Health is in charge of ‘Eat Safe’, which can be viewed via the Love Jersey app or at www.gov.je/eatsafe. When you visit a restaurant, cafe or takeaway, you may see an Eat Safe star rating of 3, 4 or 5 displayed. This rating is about the premises' food safety and hygiene standards and not the quality of the food.
If you don’t see a star rating, you can ask a staff member for their rating or look it up online. Ratings are given from 2 to 5 stars, with 5 being the best.
Only businesses that get 3 or more stars can choose to publicly display their star rating. This is to encourage businesses with lower ratings to improve their hygiene practices and aim for a better star rating, which they can then display
- The Department deals with food complaints, particularly with 'foreign bodies' in food. It should be stressed that you should not interfere with the foreign body, you should leave it exactly where it is in the food (for example, if you see a cigarette end in a cake, do not to pull it out but leave it in the cake), sometimes it is unavoidable that the item will be disturbed, but it must not be lost.
- You have the option of returning the item to either the shop or manufacturer, or to complain to the Department. You might prefer to return the item for replacement and possible compensation in the way of additional goods. The shopkeeper / manufacturers are not required to give 'extra value', although most will do so as a 'good will' gesture.
- There is a law in place to order the importers of unfit food to remove it from the island. This is so that food which may have been rejected by another country, and port, may not be sent on to Jersey. The law provides for the food to be kept for checking by the authorities for ten days before a decision needs to be taken.
- If you intend to complain to the Department, then it is important that the complaint is made as soon as possible.
- It is not an offence to sell food which is beyond its Best Before date, however, the food must be in all ways fit to eat. The shopkeeper has to decide at which point the food becomes unfit, should they decide incorrectly they will be committing an offence. For this reason, many shopkeepers will stick by the dates on food.
- It is an offence to sell food beyond its Use By date and examples should be left in the shop and reported to Environmental Health
- Some shops have a 'bargain basket' of dented tins etc. It is a case of 'buyer beware', however, the law does state that the food must be fit to eat and the seller risks prosecution if this is not the case.
- Food Condemnation Certificates - a charge is made per certificate. The Department might be asked to give a certificate for a quantity of food which is not fit for humans to eat or unsuitable due to its condition ie defrosted frozen products. The certificate would allow the person concerned to claim from the supplier or from an insurance company for the food which has had to be destroyed. This is usually available only to a business.
- Symptoms for food poisoning may be caused by something other than food poisoning. There is an incubation period for food poisoning, it usually is NOT the last place or the last meal that you ate that has actually caused the problem. It is recommended that if you are taken ill with food poisoning you should contact your GP and arrange to give a stool sample, the department will receive the report if it is confirmed as food poisoning and may carry out an investigation with you over the phone.
- All gastro intestinal diseases reported to the Department are investigated. There will be certain situations where employees will not be allowed to work (or pupils attend school)
If you think your water is polluted, for instance if it is discoloured or smelling please do not drink it and contact the States Official Analyst to have your water tested. Borehole and well water testing boreholes and, especially, wells are subject to possible pollution from pesticides, harmful bacteria and microscopic parasites such as Cryptosporidia and Giardia and they may also be high in nitrates. It is important to realise that water testing is also only a snapshot in time (eg 1 sample in 1 year) and does not guarantee a year round safe supply without treatment.
Nitrate strengths for example, are likely to vary over the year. We recommend those who are pregnant, under 5, over 65 or immuno-compromised drink bottled water rather than borehole or well water.
If you are a tenant the landlord must provide you with safe drinking water.
Treating borehole or well water
Due to the uncertainty over the safety of private water supplies you may wish to treat the water (eg chlorine or Ultra violet (UV) light treatment), use bottled water or connect to mains water if this is practical. You can get advice on treatment from Environmental Health or a reputable water treatment engineer. If you decide to use a water filter, make sure you are clear about what it is designed to do. Many filters will not remove nitrates.
If you are on mains water and you want your water testing you will need to contact Jersey Water.
Please note there is a charge for this service.
We recommend to those on borehole or well water to connect to mains water to prevent possible contamination.
- Environmental Health do not provide a pest control service but they will investigate complaints of pests if they are being caused by the actions of someone else.
- Those wanting to treat on their own property should seek the services of a pest control company. For commercial pest control, see 11.8.52.L4
Pollution - Nuisance
- People can complain to the Department about any matter, examples include:
- Noise: from neighbours, construction sites or businesses. Also see Guidelines on noise control for Construction Sites : 11.8.52.L2(B)1
- Light: from neighbours properties or businesses
- Air: Smells, fumes, smoke (chimneys or bonfires)
- Insects: caused by poor agricultural practice
- Waste: If it is on a property next to yours and causing a problem
- Land: Sewage, farm slurry spreading, land contamination
- Water: Sea water quality, protection of drinking supplies, swimming pools (public) Radioactivity advice - radon and radioactivity
- Heavy metal advice,
- air quality monitoring
- All plans where health is involved (specific points should be referred to Planning and Building Services Department) may benefit from the person speaking to the Environmental Health Department about any concerns.
- The Department investigates complaints about hotel or guesthouse swimming pools but also monitors them before a problem arises.
Sea water testing
- The sea water is tested on a weekly basis between April and September to make sure that it is safe to bathe in. Results are published on gov.je
- Environmental Health enforce the Restriction on Smoking (Workplaces) (Jersey) Regulations 2006. See 6.4.0.L7