Food hygiene rating scheme
Find out more about how food hygiene ratings are calculated and what business owners or managers can do if they think a rating is wrong.
When a food safety inspection is carried out the food safety officer checks how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:
- how hygienically the food is handled
- the condition of the premises
- how food safety is managed
At the end of the inspection, the business is given one of the six ratings from 0-5. The top rating of ‘5’ means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. Full details of the FHRS scoring system can be found on the Food Standards Agency's web-site. After the inspection the food business operator will be given a window sticker with the appropriate rating and, in most cases, the score will displayed on the FSA web-site. We may revisit at a later date to check that any required work has been completed but the premises will not be re-scored until the next, full inspection is carried out.
Re-score, appeals and right of reply
If the business owner or manager thinks that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing to the Council's lead officer for food.
The owner or manager of the business also has a 'right to reply'. This is different from an appeal. This allows the owner or manager to tell potential customers how the business has improved hygiene, or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection.
The owner or manager can also request a revisit to re-score the premises but only if the improvements to hygiene that the food safety officer told the business about at the last inspection have been made. There are few things that food business operators should bear in mind when making a re-score visit request:-
- A full, unannounced inspection will be made and the rating could go up, down or stay the same.
- There is a charge for this service (currently £213.15 inc VAT).
- The re-score visit will not be carried out by the officer that did the previous inspection.
- Re-score visits will only be made after the appeal period has passed and the original rating has been published on the Food Hygiene Rating website.
- We aim to carryout the unannounced re-score visit within 6 weeks of receipt of the application and fee, provided that any appeal has been determined and the rating applicable to the original inspection has been published on the Food Hygiene Rating website.
Retain or gain a good food hygiene rating
We are able to offer a support package to businesses to give them the best chance of obtaining a good score when their unannounced food hygiene inspection is carried out. An officer will visit and give advice on any improvements necessary to meet the required standards. There is a charge for this service and the unannounced inspection will be carried out at later date by a different food safety officer.