Display of Rating
As of 7 October 2016, following notification of your rating you are legally required to display the sticker provided by your district council. You will need to do this 21 days from the date you receive notification. By law, you must display the sticker at or near each entrance to your premises that is available for use by customers. Stickers must be displayed in a location where they can be readily seen and easily read by customers before they enter the establishment when it is open for business.
Informing the Customer
Under the Act you and your relevant employees e.g. front of house staff, must also tell customers, if asked, the rating the business has received. This applies in a face to face situation as well as over the phone.
Removal of Sticker when a new rating is given
You must remove your food hygiene rating sticker from display, and destroy it, once it is no longer valid. The sticker will no longer be valid 21 days following notification of a new rating, where the rating has changed, or when there has been a change in ownership of the business.
Failure to Display Your Rating Sticker
It is an offence not to display your sticker. If you fail to display your sticker, display an incorrect sticker or mislead customers in relation to the food hygiene rating, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council can take enforcement action. This may be through the use of fixed penalties notices. A fixed penalty notice will offer the opportunity for a person to pay a penalty of £200 within a period of 28 days, from the day that the penalty notice is given, or a reduced penalty of £150 if payment is made with 14 days. The Food Hygiene Rating Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 also allows for prosecution where necessary through a Magistrates Court.
Not Happy With Your Rating?
What to do if You disagree with your Food Hygiene Rating
If you are not happy with the food hygiene rating you have been awarded, you should contact the inspecting officer to discuss your concerns. If the issue cannot be resolved at that stage, you also have 3 further options to consider:
1. Re-Rating Inspection
- As the Food Business operator of the establishment you can request the District Council to carry out a re-rating inspection if you have made improvements identified at the time of the inspection.
- Your request must be made in writing and you must provide evidence on the improvements that have been made to the hygiene standards.
- You must continue to display your current rating sticker as required at the time when making the request for a re-rating, until you have been notified of the outcome of the re-rating visit.
- You must wait until the end of the 21 days appeal period before applying for a re-rating inspection.Any re-rating inspection form received before the appeal period is over will be refused.
- The re-rating visit will take place within three months of the request being made, and you will not be informed in advance of the specific date and time of the visit.
- Although it is anticipated that most re-rating revisits will lead to an improved rating, it is possible for a lower rating to be given if standards have otherwise fallen.
- There is a charge of £150 for a re-rating visit and this must accompany the request.Your request for a re-rating will not be accepted without the fee being paid. The application fee is non-refundable so make sure you have all the recommended improvements made and that the appeal period has passed before your apply.
- To make a request please download and complete a copy of the Food Hygiene Scheme Revisit Form or you can request a form from the Council on 028 9034 0160. Return the form to the Environmental Health Officer who inspected your premises ensuring that the £150 fee is enclosed. The request can also be emailed to email@example.com with the payment being made over the phone on 028 9064 0160. Payments can also be made in person at Mossley Mill or Antrim Civic Centre.
2. Exercise Your "Right to Reply"
- The “Right of Reply” allows a Food Business to comment on the rating received. You can give an update on actions that have been taken following the inspection, or to give any information on particular circumstances at the time of the inspection.
- If you wish to use this "Right to Reply" please download and complete a copy of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Right of Reply Form and return it to the Environmental Health Officer who undertook your inspection or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your comments will be reviewed by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and may be edited in order to remove offensive or defamatory remarks before being published online and displayed together with your food hygiene rating at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.
- You have 21 days (including weekend and bank holidays) from the date of receipt of the notification letter to lodge an appeal.
- Appeals received more than 21 days after notification will not be considered.
- The Appeal will be considered by an officer who was not involved in the production of the rating that was given.
- The Appeal will be determined and the decision will be communicated to the Food Business Operator within 21 days from the date the appeal was received.
- The rating will not be displayed at food.gov.uk/ratings during the 21 day appeal period. If no appeal is made the rating will be “valid” after the 21 day period has expired.
- To make an appeal, download and complete the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Appeal Form and return to the Environmental Health Officer who inspected the premises within 21 days of receiving the notification of your score or email to email@example.com
Spotting Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in NI