The Food Standards Agency’s food hygiene rating scheme is operated by local councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Following a routine inspection by an environmental health officer, food businesses are given a rating of 0 (Urgent Improvement Necessary) to 5 (Very Good). This rating is published on a website for your customers and the media to read.
It is now compulsory for this rating to be displayed at the entrance to food businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland and the Government plan to make this a legal requirement in England. Scotland has a similar system known as the Food Information Scheme which awards food businesses with either a ‘pass’ or ‘improvement required’.
If you feel that the food hygiene rating you received was fair but you’d like a better one, you can ask your local council to re-score your business. You must have completed any required actions before you make this request which has to be on an official form. An unannounced re-scoring visit will take place within 3-6 months of your inspection. Some councils now charge for this re-visit in which case they undertake to return within 3 months.
If you feel that you have been scored unfairly, you can appeal the council’s decision within 21 days of being notified of your score. You must complete an official form outlining the reasons why you feel you should have received a higher rating. The council will not publish your score on the website until they have considered your appeal.
We can visit your food premises regularly to check that the law is being complied with and provide coaching on how to improve. Following our visits, we give you a prediction of the food hygiene rating you would have received and an action plan of how you can achieve 5 out of 5. We can also liaise with the local council on your behalf and assist you in applying for a re-score or making an appeal.