Food Hygiene Ratings

To achieve the best rating possible, you will need to ensure your business meets the highest standards in the following three 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

To help you achieve a high rating please use the Food hygiene rating scheme guidance checklist. If you can answer 'yes' to all the points on the checklist and our inspector can find evidence of this, then you should be able to meet a 'generally satisfactory' score of three or above.

Most businesses require a fully documented food safety management system and need to show that it is being operated effectively. If you do not have a fully documented system, then you may only reach a score of one out of five.

Appeals and revisits

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 can choose to take one of the following options:

  • Appeal - This must be submitted within 21 days. The Lead Officer will review the rating and make a judgement within 21 days
  • Right to request a revisit - You can request a revisit if you can provide evidence that you have made improvements. This revisit will cost £200, with an unannounced visit made within three months of the request
  • Submit your 'right to reply' - Your reply can detail the recent improvements you've made and give any mitigating circumstances at the time of the inspection. It is not for making complaints or for criticising the scheme. Your comments will be reviewed by the inspecting officer and may be edited before being published online and displayed together with your food hygiene rating on the Food Standards Agency website

Guidance on which method to take can be chosen via the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme Flow Chart.

If you have chosen which method to take, fill in the online forms below:

Good food hygiene is good for business

To make your rating good for business, make sure you display your rating sticker and put it in a place where your customers can easily see it, for example in a window or door. This will immediately reassure your customers that you take food hygiene seriously. If you've lost, damaged or misplaced your sticker, please contact us and we can provide you with a new one.

More than a third of businesses displaying their ratings sticker say that this is having a positive effect. This includes greater customer confidence, a better reputation among customers and, most importantly, more customers.

There are some other straightforward, cost-effective tips to help you get the most out of your hygiene rating in the 'How to' guide. This includes downloadable images showing your rating that can easily be included in menus, promotional materials and on your own website.

Last updated 2 May 2023
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