Food hygiene means the measure and conditions needed for food safety from production to consumption. Every type of food business or premises must meet these standards to make sure food is safe to eat.
To meet food hygiene standards a business must:
- make sure food is prepared hygienically including how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
- make sure the premises are hygienic including the cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
- have a full implementation of your food safety management system.
Food hygiene rating scheme
We will inspect all food premises to review and rate their hygiene practices. The levels are:
- 5 very good
- 4 good
- 3 generally satisfactory
- 2 improvement necessary
- 1 major improvement necessary
- 0 urgent improvement necessary.
The rating we give reflects what we find at the time of the visit. It is the responsibility of the business to comply with food hygiene laws at all times.
It is a criminal offence for a business to display the wrong rating for their business or claim they have a rating which they do not. Action will be taken against businesses who have been made aware they are displaying an incorrect rating.
View ratings online
All ratings for food businesses are available online.
All food premises in the district will be inspected. Inspections can be:
- unannounced as part of the programmed inspection schedule
- following a complaint
- following a confirmed food poisoning report from the Health protection Agency
- for sampling purposes or as part of a survey or targeted campaign.
Prior notice of an inspection may be given where the premises are at a domestic property where we must give 24 hours notice, or when we need the owner or manager to be at the inspection.
After the inspection we'll give or update a rating, but we may also take other action including improvement notices, confiscation of food, closure of premises, or prosecution.
You can find out more about what happens at inspections and the actions which may be taken on the food hygiene inspections web page.
Appeals and revisits
If you are a businesses which has received a rating and you disagree with it, you can appeal. This must be done within 21 days of the inspection. You can apply online, or download the form from the related documents section to complete and return.
If you want us to revisit your premises for a rescore you can request this using the form downloaded from this page. A charge of £180 is made for revisits and this can be paid by debit or credit card in our online system after you've made your application.
You can also use your Right of Reply to have your comments appear alongside the rating.
Other ways you can contact us about food hygiene ratings
If you have any questions or are a premises needing to discuss ratings you can contact us by:
- online form
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- telephone: 01623 450000.