Food hygiene and safety

Food hygiene rating

To help you choose where to eat out or shop for food, we run the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in partnership with the Food Standards Agency. It shows the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat out, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

How is the rating calculated?

Each business is given a rating following an inspection by a food safety officer who will check:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – e.g. safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
  • the condition of the structure of the premises – e.g. cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • how food safety is managed and documented – e.g. using a system such as Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB) (link opens in new window)

The rating reflects the conditions found at the last inspection and does not reflect the quality of food or the standards of service the business provides.

What are the different ratings?

A business will be rated 1 to 5, and all businesses should be able achieve the top rating of 5. Where a business does not, the food safety officer will explain what improvements are needed.

Business owners and managers can find out more about what they need to do to achieve the highest rating here.

Where will the food hygiene rating be displayed?

Businesses are given a window sticker showing their rating and are encouraged to display these at their premises. You can search (link opens in new window) for ratings on the GOV.UK website.

You can read about the scheme on the Food Standards Agency (link opens in new window) website.

Alternatively, you can watch a video about the scheme on the Food Standards Agency's YouTube channel (link opens in new window).

Food Law Enforcement Plan

The Food Standards Agency requires all local authorities to produce a service plan, setting out how food enforcement activities are to be delivered. The plan also includes details of the proposed inspection programme.

Business Safeguard Form - 'Right to Reply' Revisit Request, Appeals

To help ensure the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is fair to businesses, the FHRS has been designed to include a number of safeguards.

These are an appeal procedure, a 'right to reply' and an opportunity to request a re-visit when improvements have been made.

Please complete the relevant form (link opens in new window), details of which were provided at the time of notification of your rating, and return to the Food Hygiene Rating Lead Officer.