Food hygiene and safety

Food hygiene rating

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).

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 to achieve the top rating of 5. Where a business does not, the food safety officer will explain what improvements are needed.

The scheme gives businesses a rating from 5 to 0 (find out what the ratings mean) which is displayed at their premises and online so you can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food.

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.

Search for a business

Business Safeguard Form – 'Right to reply' re-visit 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.

Read more about business safeguards on the Food Standards Agency's website.

Right to reply

The right to reply means you can explain how you’ve worked to improve your food hygiene standards. You can also explain any unusual circumstances which might have affected your rating. It’s not an opportunity to complain or criticise the process.

Please complete the right to reply form, which you can download from the Food Standards Agency's website (details of which were provided at the time of notification of your rating), and return to the Food Hygiene Rating Lead Officer.

Right of appeal

Once notified of your rating, you have 21 days to appeal (including weekends and bank holidays) if you think that the rating is wrong and does not reflect the hygiene standards and management controls at the time of your inspection.

To appeal:

  1. speak informally to your food safety officer first to discuss how your rating was calculated
  2. lodge a formal appeal, if you still think the rating is wrong; visit the Food Standards Agency's website to download the appeal form

Request a re-visit

If you make the improvements to hygiene standards that are highlighted in your inspection report, you can request a re-visit with a view to giving you a new and higher food hygiene rating. There will be a charge for each re-visit carried out at your request. The re-visit will be carried out within 3 months of receipt of your application and payment.

The Food Standards Agency's website contains guidance and re-visit request form.