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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

What is the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?

It is a scheme to provide customers with simple information about hygiene standards in most of our food businesses.

Following an inspection by an Environmental Health officer, each business is given a rating which reflects the hygiene standards in that business.

This helps customers decide where to buy and eat food, based on the hygiene standards in that business.

Information for Businesses

How to achieve the top food hygiene rating

In order to achieve the best rating possible, you will need to ensure your business meets the highest standards in the following 3 areas:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored.

  • the condition of the structure of the premises - cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.

  • how you manage what you do to make sure food is safe - full implementation of your food safety management system for example Safer Food Better Business.

What to do if you disagree with your food hygiene rating

If you are not happy with the food hygiene rating you have been awarded, you should contact the inspecting officer to discuss your concerns. If the issue cannot be resolved at that stage, you also have 3 further options to consider; these safeguards are in place to make sure the scheme is fair:

  • Your right to appeal

  • Your right to request a re-visit

  • Your 'right to reply'

How to Appeal

If you think your food hygiene rating is wrong - in other words it does not reflect the hygiene standards found at the time of your inspection, you must lodge your appeal with the Environmental Health Department within 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) of being told what your food hygiene rating is. You can appeal by downloading and completing the appeal form. The Lead Officer for Food will review your rating and tell you of the outcome within 21 days.

How to request a re-visit

As the food business operator of the establishment you can request a re-visit at any time after the inspection provided you have taken action to rectify the non-compliances identified at the time of inspection. You must provide details of the improvements made with your request, including supporting evidence, such as photographs, receipts and certificates. Prior to making a request for a re-visit, we suggest you discuss the matter with the Officer who last inspected your establishment. If we consider you have provided sufficient evidence an unannounced visit will be made within 3 months of the request.

The Environmental Health Officer will give you a new food hygiene rating based on the level of compliance that is found at the time of the re-visit. Please be aware that your rating could go up, down or remain the same.

To make a request for a revisit, please download and complete the form below.

How to exercise your ‘right to reply’

The option of the ‘right to reply’ gives you a chance to explain why you have your rating, what recent improvements you've made and to give any mitigating circumstances at the time of the inspection. If you wish to use this ‘right to reply’, please download and complete the form below. Your comments will be reviewed by the inspecting officer before being published online and displayed together with your food hygiene rating at food.gov.uk/ratings.

Good food hygiene is good for business

Display your rating sticker where customers can see it. This reassures customers that you take food hygiene seriously.

There's a profit to be made; an increasing number of food businesses are displaying their hygiene rating stickers and more than a third of them say that this is having a positive effect. This includes greater customer confidence, better reputation and most importantly, more customers.

Information for Consumers

How is the rating worked out?

When a food business is inspected, it will be given a rating to show the standards of hygiene found at that time.

The inspector considers:

  1. the safety of the preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storing of food,
  2. the cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting and ventilation of the premises and
  3. how well the business is managed.

What do the ratings mean?

A business will be given a rating between 0 and 5. These numbers mean:

5 - very good
4 - good
3 - satisfactory
2 - improvement is necessary
1 - major improvement is necessary
0 - urgent improvement is necessary

You can find out about your favourite restaurant, food shop or takeaway by looking up its hygiene rating. When you reach this page, follow the simple instructions. This information is regularly updated to ensure the information is correct. For smart phone users, you can download the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme app.

Scores are given at the time of the inspection and changes may have occurred at the business since the scores were given.

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