Environmental Health Department

10.8.1.L5 Updated on:3 November 2021

Housing

Environmental Health carries out duties under the public health law and has powers to inspect properties where it is judged that the conditions are harmful to the health of the occupants. In extreme cases they can recommend that a Closing Order or Demolition Order is carried out to prevent further occupancy until the hazards are put right.

For details of minimum housing standards, please see Housing Standards.

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.

They 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.

Food hygiene

Members of the public can complain about a particular food premises.

A food business owner can ask for advice.

They carry 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 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

Food complaints

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 something 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, manufacturer or to complain to Environmental Health. You might prefer to return the item for replacement. Manufacturers are not required to give extra value, although some 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 that may have been rejected by another country or 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, 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 reduced section 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.

Environmental Health might be asked to give a Food Condemnation Certificate for a quantity of food which is not fit for humans to eat or unsuitable due to its condition, i.e. 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 businesses.

Food poisoning

Symptoms of 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 contact your GP. 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 gastrointestinal diseases reported to the department are investigated. There will be certain situations where employees will not be allowed to work. 

Water supply

If you think your water is polluted, for instance if it is discoloured ​or smelling please do not drink it and contact Environmental Health to have your water tested. Borehole and well water are subject to possible pollution from pesticides, harmful bacteria and microscopic parasites such as Cryptosporidium 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 (e.g. 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 e.g. chlorine or ultra violet 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 tested, 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.

Pest control

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 their own property should seek the services of a pest control company.

Pollution and Nuisance

People can complain to the Department about any matter, examples include:

  • Noise: from neighbours, construction sites or businesses
  • 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: Seawater quality, protection of drinking supplies, swimming pools (public), radioactivity advice
  • Heavy metal advice
  • Air quality monitoring

Planning matters

All plans where health is involved may benefit from the person speaking to Environmental Health about any concerns.

Swimming pools

The Department investigates complaints about hotel or guesthouse swimming pools but also monitors them before a problem arises.

Seawater testing

The seawater 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

Smoking

Environmental Health enforces the Restriction on Smoking (Workplaces) (Jersey) Regulations 2006.

Contact

The Environment Department
Maison Le Pape,
The Parade,
St. Helier,
Jersey,
JE2 3PU

Tel: +441534 445808
Website: www.gov.je/environment/environmentalhealth/Pages/index.aspx