When carrying out a food hygiene inspection a district council food safety officer will consider the following elements, which will then determine the business’ food hygiene rating:
- Hygiene – how the food is prepared, cooked, reheated, cooled and stored.
- The condition of the structure of the buildings – including the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.
- How food safety within the business is managed and how the business records what it does to make sure food is safe.
Following inspections, food safety officers will provide you with your business’ rating and, if you didn’t get the top rating, the improvements you need to make. This will be detailed in an inspection report letter. Following notification of your food hygiene rating and once the period allowed for appeal has ended (21 days after you receive the notification), your rating, as well as additional information on the ‘ratings breakdown’ for your business, will be published on the Food Standards Agency website at: www.food.gov.uk/ratings.
After the inspection, the business is given one of the six ratings. The top rating of ‘5’ means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. Any business should be able to reach this top rating.
The rating is notified to a Food Business Operator within 14 days from the date of inspection. The number of ‘days’ includes weekends and bank holidays.
The food safety officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements are needed and how they can achieve the top rating of '5'. The local authority will check that these improvements are made.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been designed to make sure that the ratings given to businesses are fair. For more information, see Frequently asked questions (www.food.gov.uk website) about the scheme.