Food hygiene rating scheme

The food hygiene rating scheme is a national Food Standards Agency initiative which helps consumers make informed choices about where they eat and buy their food, encouraging businesses to improve their hygiene standards.

The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service provided to customers. 

Each food business receives a rating based on the findings of their most recent food hygiene inspection.

At the bottom of the scale is 0 – this means that urgent improvement is required.

At the top of the scale is 5 – this means that the hygiene standards are very good.

Businesses are given a window sticker and certificate to display, however a business is not currently required by law to display them.

All the ratings are published on the Food Standards Agency’s website.

How the ratings are calculated

Your food hygiene rating is determined by the information collected during a food hygiene inspection. The inspecting officer allocates scores for:

  • The level of compliance with food hygiene and safety requirements (how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored etc)
  • The level of compliance with structural and cleaning requirements (the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities etc)
  • The level of confidence in management (how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe)
These scores are determined using guidance from the Food Law Code of Practice. They are then used to determine the overall hygiene rating:
Food hygiene rating scores
Total score 0-15 20 25-30 35-40 45-50 50 +
Additional scoring factor* No individual score more than 5 No individual score more than 10 No individual score more than 10 No individual score more than 15 No individual score more than 20 N/A
Food hygiene rating 5 4 3 2 1 0
Tier Top Second Third Fourth Fifth Bottom
Rating descriptor Very good Good Satisfactory Improvement necessary Major improvement necessary Urgent improvement necessary
* Where an individual score exceeds the additional scoring factor, your rating will drop down to a lower tier.
For example, if you have a total score of 30 with an individual score of 15, this will reduce your rating from 3 to 2 - Improvement necessary.
We will inform the business of the food hygiene rating within 14 days of the inspection taking place.

Safeguards for food businesses

In order to ensure that the food hygiene rating scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards.

An appeal procedure

Before making an appeal, business owners or managers should contact the inspecting officer to understand why the rating was given.

If they still think that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing. Details on how to do this are included in the notification of rating letter sent to the business.

Submit a food hygiene rating appeal

A right to reply

The right to reply allows you to tell customers how the business has improved its hygiene standards or if there were unusual circumstances at the time of inspection.

This response will be published online, alongside your rating.

Submit a right to reply

Request a revisit

You can request a revisit to get a new rating after all the necessary hygiene improvements have been made.The cost of a request for a revisit is £180. If your request is successful you will need to pay £180 before the revisit takes place.

Request a food hygiene rating revisit

 

More information can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.