How do I find the food hygiene rating of a business
Have you ever wondered about the hygiene of your favourite restaurant's kitchen?
The purpose of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or shop for food and, through these choices, encourage businesses to improve their hygiene standards.
Hastings Borough Council has been part of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme since April 2011.
This scheme encourages and recognises the many food businesses that achieve full legal compliance.
What type of businesses will be included in the scheme?
Most food businesses will be covered by the scheme including restaurants, shops, cafés, takeaways, delicatessens, hotels and pubs.
If a business does not appear online or seem to have a rating it may be a new business that we have not inspected yet.
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.
How does the scheme work?
The Scheme works by each business being awarded a numerical rating of 0-5 following a food hygiene inspection by the council's food safety team. This rating will be determined by food safety officers during inspections.
How will businesses be scored?
Scores will be based on the level of risk that a food premises poses to customers from their food hygiene arrangements.
The scheme does not reflect the quality of the food being served, but how hygienically the food is prepared.
Three criteria are used for providing a rating:
- Food hygiene and safety: food handling practices, cooking, chilling, preventing cross contamination and temperature control
- Structure and cleaning: cleanliness, layout, condition of the structure, lighting, ventilation, facilities etc.
- Confidence in management: the track record of the business, attitude of the present management towards hygiene and safety, hygiene and food safety technical knowledge available and satisfactory documented procedures
Businesses with excellent standards of food hygiene will be awarded a numerical score of five ranging down to zero for those with very poor hygiene standards:
- Five - very good: very high standards of food safety management, fully compliant with food safety legislation
- Four - good: good food safety management, high standard of compliance with food safety legislation.
- Three - generally satisfactory: good level of legal compliance, some more effort might be required
- Two - improvement necessary: more effort required to meet all legal requirements
- One - major improvement necessary: poor level of compliance with food safety legislation, much more effort required
- Zero - urgent improvement necessary: a general failure to comply with legal requirements, little or no appreciation of food safety, major effort required
The score applies to the conditions found at the last inspection only. It may not represent the current condition of the business.
As part of the scheme, businesses are given a sticker showing the score that has been awarded. Displaying the sticker is voluntary at present but it is hoped this can become a legal requirement in the future.
This is an example of a food hygiene rating display sticker provided to the business following inspection. Scores on the stickers will vary depending on the score they are awarded. New businesses or businesses that are awaiting an inspection may be issued with a sticker stating that they are 'awaiting inspection' to ensure they are not disadvantaged.
Businesses and consumers can be confident that the scheme is consistent because the numerical scores used to decide the rating are based on a national code of practice. The food hygiene rating scheme is a national scheme operated by the Food Standards Agency and Local Authority partnership initiative. The scheme has been adopted by most of the Sussex Local Authorities and many others across the UK.
Frequently asked questions
Visit www.food.gov.uk for frequently asked questions about the scheme for residents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Scotland (where it is called the Food Hygiene Information Scheme).