The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice
Our Environmental Health officers are able to provide food safety advice and guidance to businesses to support them as they seek new opportunities during these exceptional times. This includes starting new home delivery services. For guidance, please contact us.
Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Query
What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is a national scheme which was adopted by the council in April 2011 to promote businesses which achieve full legal compliance and guide the public when choosing where to purchase food.
More information on how the scheme works is available from the Food Standards Agency Website.
Will my business receive a rating?
Most food businesses will be covered by the scheme including restaurants, shops, cafés, takeaways, delicatessens, hotels and pubs.
Some businesses may also be exempted from the scheme and not given a rating such as:
- businesses that are considered a low-risk to people’s health in terms of food safety and that you perhaps wouldn’t normally think of as a food business – for example, newsagents, chemist shops or visitor centres selling such things as chocolate bars, biscuits or cold drinks.
- childminders and businesses that offer caring services at home.
If you are not certain you can ask the environmental health officer during your initial food hygiene inspection.
How will I find out my score?
Following a food hygiene inspection of your premises by an environmental health officer you will be told in writing - either at the time or within 14 days (this includes weekends and public holidays) what your food hygiene rating is. You will also be given a sticker which you can display within the business for the public to see.
How do I improve my rating?
Businesses who want to improve their rating need to attend to everything outlined in their last inspection report before their next routine inspection, and ensure that they comply with current food safety legislation.
Businesses should contact the Environmental Health team if they need further advice about what is required.
Can the owner of a business ask the local authority to inspect hygiene standards again to get a new rating?
Yes, to ensure fairness to businesses the council has put in place a procedure for undertaking a re-inspection at the request of the food business operator. Re-assessing the food hygiene rating of the establishment will only be done if the improvements to hygiene that the local authority food safety officer told the business about at the last inspection have been made.
The owner or manager of the food business can only ask the local authority for another inspection to be carried out once before the date of the next planned inspection.
Where the case for a re-inspection/re-visit is substantiated, when should this take place?
Although the food business operator can make the request at any time after the planned intervention, the re-inspection/re-visit should not take place until three months have elapsed (the 'stand still' period) since the intervention at which the original food hygiene rating was given.
Where the legal non-compliances identified at the last inspection were permanent structural improvements or repairs or upgrading of equipment the council can undertake a requested re-inspection/re-visit during the 'stand still' period. This will be entirely the council's discretion and only where the council is satisfied the structural or equipment non-compliances have since been rectified.
The re-inspection/re-visit must, however, take place within three months of the end of the three month 'stand still' period, or within three months of the request where this is made after the 'stand still' period. This means that six months is the maximum amount of time a business should have to wait for a re-inspection/re-visit after making a request (provided the council agrees to the request).
To request a re-evaluation your FHRS rating complete our Request for a re-visit form.
Right to reply
If you are the operator of a food business establishment you have the right to reply in respect of the hygiene rating given following your inspection.
Send us your comments by completing our Right to reply form.
How to appeal
If you are the operator of a food business establishment you have the right to appeal the 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.
Appeal your rating by completing our Appeal form.