Who we are and what we do

The Council has a responsibility for a wide variety of activities, including; undertaking food hygiene inspections, investigating food complaints, responding to national food hazard warnings, providing advice to new and existing businesses, investigating foodborne illnesses, sampling, and providing food hygiene courses.  

If you have questions regarding this service or our privacy practices, you can contact us by e-mail or in writingEmail food.safety@walthamforest.gov.uk for more information.

You can also contact us by post. Please write to:

Food Safety Team
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
Walthamstow, E17 4JF

Please note that face-to-face meetings are by appointment only and can be arranged with the service by email.


Information we hold about you

We collect information from you in the following ways:

  • Paper forms;
  • Online forms;
  • Telephone conversations;
  • Face to face meetings;
  • Copies of notifications;
  • From other agencies (for example Public Health England, the Food Standards Agency or other local authorities);
  • From copies of certificates;
  • From other people (for example from people making a complaint about a business).

If you are a food business operator (FBO), when we register/approve your business we collect the following information from you:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Business name
  • Address (including the address of the FBO if this is different to the business address)
  • Telephone number (including the number of the FBO if this is different to the business number)
  • Email address (including that of the FBO if this is different to the business email).

If you are making a complaint about food or food business or you are requesting advice we collect the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your business name (if applicable)
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (if applicable).

When we investigate cases of infectious disease (including food poisoning), we collect the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your job or business name (if applicable)
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (if applicable)
  • Details of your employment (or in the case of your child, their school details)
  • Medical information, including when you became ill, symptoms and duration of illness
  • Names of family members, or other close contacts, together with their employment or school details
  • Places you have visited, eaten at or bought food from.

Why we need your information and how we use it

The Food Safety Team may use your data for the following purposes:

  • Enquiries and complaints made to the Food Safety and Infectious Disease Team
  • Registration of Food Businesses
  • Inspections, Official and Non-Official Interventions, Sampling and Enforcement of food businesses
  • Infectious Disease notifications and other public health-related requirements
  • Smoke-free complaints and enquiries
  • Public Health work such as Private Water Supplies
  • The issuing of legal notices for the enforcement of food safety contraventions and other associated investigation/enforcement purposes.

The lawful basis for the processing

Our legal basis for data processing comes from Articles 6 and 9 of GDPR.

Article 6(1)(c) - processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject.

Article 6(1)(e) – processing is necessary for us to perform a task carried out in the public interest or for our official functions.

Article 9(2)(i) - processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health.

We rely upon the following laws to process your personal data:

  • The Food Safety Act 1990 (as amended)
  • The General Food Regulations 2004
  • The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 The Food Law Code of Practice (England)
  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 which lays down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin
  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002
  • EC Regulation No. 2073/2005 on Microbiological Criteria for Foodstuffs
  • Public Health (Control of Disease ) Act 1984
  • Animal Feed (England) Regulations 2010
  • Animal By-products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013
  • Beef and Veal Labelling Regulations 2010
  • Drinking Milk (England) Regulations 2008
  • Fishery Products (Official Controls Charges) Regulations 2007
  • Food Additives (England) Regulations 2009
  • General Food Regulations 2004 General Product Safety Regulations 2005; Genetically Modified Animal Feed (England) Regulations 2004
  • Genetically Modified Animal Feed (England) Regulations 2004
  • Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (England) Regulations 2012
  • Meat (Official Controls Charges) (England) Regulations 2009
  • Official Controls (Animals, Feed and Food) (England) Regulations 2006
  • Wine Regulations 2011
  • Food and Environmental Protection Act 1985
  • Official Feed and Food Control (England) Regulations 2009
  • Organic Products Regulations 2009
  • Spirit Drinks Regulations 2008
  • Trade-in Animals and Related Products (England) Regulations 2011 (TARP).
  • Regulation (EC) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers
  • The Food Information Regulations 2014

Who your information will be shared with (if applicable)

Your personal information may be shared with internal departments or with external partners and agencies these will be primarily the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

There may be occasions where we share information with other government organisations such as the police, the fire service and CPS and with the Health and Safety Executive; this is a legal requirement under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

How long we will keep your information

We will keep your information for as long as it is required by us or other regulatory bodies in order to comply with legal and regulatory requirements or for other operational reasons. In most cases, this will be 6 years (Limitation Act 1980) from the date of the expiry of the information.