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Food hygiene rating scheme

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The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme aims to provide information on hygiene standards found during routine food hygiene inspections.  The scheme is designed to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop and at the same time encourage businesses to improve their food hygiene standards.

Businesses are awarded a rating ranging from top rating of five '5' (very good) to zero '0' (urgent improvement necessary) following an inspection.

If you are a local business owner you can find more information on the scheme and a number of frequently asked questions on the FSA website  FHRS FAQ

Search for food hygiene ratings Food Hygiene Ratings

Hygiene ratings explained

Food hygiene inspections are carried out by Environmental Health Officers in accordance with the Food Law Code of Practice.

Scores are given for:

  • food hygiene compliance (handling, preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage)
  • structure and cleanliness (condition, layout, lighting, ventilation and facilities)
  • confidence in management (management and records, training, procedures and maintenance)

The scores are added together to determine the overall rating in accordance with the Brand Standard.

Following receipt of your rating there are a number of safeguards built into the scheme if you do not agree with the rating.  Businesses can: 

  • Request a re-scoring revisit
  • You can appeal if you do not believe the score given reflects what was found
  • You have a right of reply to highlight the actions you have taken

Request a re-scoring visit

A food business can request a re-scoring revisit once they have completed any legal requirements identified at the time of inspection.  There are no limits to the number of requests you can make.

  • This must be formally requested on the re-scoring request form.
  • Without enough evidence the Council may refuse to undertake a re-visit.
  • The re-scoring revisit will take place within three months of receipt of your re-scoring visit request form and payment being received.
  • The cost of a re-scoring visit is £150.
  • The original rating will be displayed on the website pending the re-visit; all visits will be unannounced and be comprehensive in order to re-evaluate the premises.

Guidance for requesting a revisit is available to download along with revisit form.  download request for revisit form (Word doc) [301KB]

Appeals against a rating

The appeals procedure should only be used where the food business operator (you) believes that the rating given by the inspecting officer is unjust and does not reflect the hygiene standards and management controls at the time of the visit. After an inspection, there is a 21 day period in which food businesses can appeal. 

Guidance for appealing is available to download along with the appeal form.  download right to appeal form (Word doc) [300KB]

Right to reply

As the food business operator you have a right to reply in respect of the rating given following your inspection. This is to give you a chance to give an explanation of subsequent actions that have been taken to make the required improvements as detailed in the inspection report, or to give reasons for the circumstances at the time of the inspection.

It is not for making complaints or for criticising the scheme or inspecting officer. A right to reply must be formally submitted.

If you wish to use this right to reply, it will be displayed on the website with your rating. Your comments will be reviewed by the inspecting officer and may be edited before being published on the website in order to remove offensive or defamatory remarks

Guidance for right to reply is available to download along with the right to reply form.  download right to reply form (Word doc) [291KB]

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