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Food hygiene rating scheme

The national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) was developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) with local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It gives information on food hygiene standards to help people choose where to eat or shop for food.

You can look up the ratings on the Food Standards Agency website. The scores are given at the time of the last inspection and changes may have taken place since this visit.

Premises given a rating include restaurants, takeaways, cafes, sandwich shops, pubs, hotels, care homes, schools and supermarkets as well as any other business where people can eat or buy food.

Inspections

An authorised council officer will do the inspection and look at:

  • how hygienically food is handled – eg safe food preparation and procedures including cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
  • the condition of the premises – eg cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • how food safety is managed and documented. The officer also looks at the premises history and confidence in management to improve/maintain standards

Once a business has been rated they will be given a certificate to display, although they don’t have to.

The scores vary from 0 to 5 with 5 being very good.

Options available to businesses

A food business has 3 options available to them following receipt of their rating: an appeal, a right to reply and a request for a rescore. These are detailed below:

Appeal

  • as the food business operator of the establishment you have a right to appeal the food hygiene rating given following your inspection if you do not agree that the rating reflects the hygiene standards and management controls found at the time of the inspection
  • you have 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) from the date of receipt of the notification letter to lodge an appeal
  • an appeal can be lodged using the form below
  • the Lead Officer for Food Safety will review your rating and communicate the outcome of your appeal to you within twenty one days

Right to reply

  • as the food business operator of the establishment you have a ‘right to reply’ in respect of the food hygiene rating given following your inspection
  • the purpose is to enable you to give an explanation of subsequent actions that have been taken to make the required improvements as detailed in the inspection letter, or to explain mitigation for the circumstances at the time of the inspection. It is not for making complaints or for criticising the scheme or food safety officer
  • a right to rely can be lodged using the form below
  • your comments will be reviewed by the food safety officer and may be edited to remove offensive or defamatory remarks before being published online and displayed together with your food hygiene rating on the Food Standards Agency website.
  • there will be a statement on the Food Standards Agency website that will highlight that the accuracy of your comments has not been verified by local authority officers

Request a re-rating

  • as the food business operator of the establishment you have a right to request a re-visit for the purposes of re-rating if you have taken action to rectify the non-compliances identified at the time of inspection
  • for applications received after 1 April 2022 there is a charge of £224 for this re-visit. There is no limit on the number of requests you can make but the charge will be applicable each time
  • a request for a re-rating can be made using the form below. You must provide details of the improvements made with your request, including supporting evidence where appropriate
  • the re-visit will be carried out within a maximum of three months following the receipt of your request and payment of the fee
  • applications will only be accepted and deemed valid once payment has fully cleared
  • the inspecting Officer will give you a ‘new’ food hygiene rating based on the level of compliance that is found at the time of the unannounced re-visit - you should be aware that your rating could go up, down or remain the same