Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
We use the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme system for rating local food businesses. This is aimed at helping you to decide where to eat or shop. The scheme provides information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, and other places you eat out. It also provides ratings for supermarkets and other food shops.
What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?
We run the scheme in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Like our earlier Scores on the Doors scheme, it will help you choose where to eat out or shop for food. It gives you information about the hygiene standards in food premises at the time they are inspected by one of our food safety officers. Our officers check that they are meeting legal requirements on food hygiene.
How is the rating calculated?
Businesses are given a rating after an inspection by a food safety officer. This is based on:
- How hygienically the food is handled – safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
- The condition of the structure of the premises – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
- How food safety is managed and systems documented
The rating reflects the conditions found at the time of the last inspection. It does not reflect the quality of food or the standards of service the business provides.
A business is given one of six ratings. Five is the top rating for 'very good', down to zero for 'urgent improvement necessary'.
Where will the food hygiene rating be displayed?
Businesses are given a window sticker showing their rating. They are encouraged to display it at their premises in places where you can easily see it when you visit. Display is voluntary at the moment.
You can also look up food hygiene ratings on the FSA's website.
You can search for ratings for local businesses and anywhere else the scheme is being operated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Information for businesses
Business toolkit for promoting good food hygiene
The FSA has produced an online toolkit to help food businesses get the most from their hygiene rating. The toolkit offers ideas on how to promote hygiene standards as well as help increase the number of customers who come through the door or order online.
Request for a revisit to get a new rating
The owner or manager of a food business can ask us to revisit to get a new rating. This is providing that the improvements to hygiene we told the business about at the last inspection have been made. The owner or manager of the food business can only ask us for a revisit to be carried out once before the date of the next planned inspection.
To ask for a revisit. you can request a revisit online. You can also download the FHRS request for a revisit form [pdf] 122KB and send it to us.
What can the owner of a business do if they think the rating given is unfair or wrong?
The owner or manager of the business should talk to the food officer that inspected the business about why the rating was given. If the business owner or manager still thinks that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing.
To appeal, you can request an appeal online or download the FHRS appeal form [doc] 184KB and send it to us. This must be within 21 days (including weekends and public holidays) of being told what your rating is.
Right to reply
The owner or manager of the business also has a 'right to reply'. This is different from an appeal.
The owner or manager can exercise their right to reply online, or download the FHRS right to reply form [pdf] 112KB and send it to us. You can use this to tell us how your business has improved hygiene levels. You can also state if there were any unusual circumstances at the time of the original inspection.
A business' right to reply will be published online by us with the business' hygiene rating.
Where can I get further information?
If you would like further information on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme please email the Environmental Health team.