Last Modified February 11, 2013
We run the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.
What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?
The scheme gives you information about the hygiene standards of food premises at the time they are inspected.
Each business is given a rating after an inspection by a food safety officer. This is based on how well the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law at that time. In particular:
how hygienically the food is handled – safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
the condition of the structure of the premises – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
how food safety is managed and documented – using a system such as Safer food, better business or Safe Catering
The rating reflects the conditions found at the time of the last inspection and does not reflect the quality of food or the standards of service the business provides.
Why is the scheme important?
Telling you about hygiene standards in food outlets gives you greater choice and can help you choose where to eat out or shop for food. It also recognises those businesses with the highest standards and encourages others to improve. The overall aim is to reduce the number of cases of food poisoning which currently affects about one million people in the UK every year.
Which businesses are given a rating?
Restaurants, takeaways, cafés, sandwich shops, pubs, hotels, as well as other businesses where consumers can eat or buy food, are given a hygiene rating as part of the scheme.
What are the different ratings?
There are six ratings: five being the best, and zero being where urgent improvements are necessary.
All businesses should be able achieve the top rating of five. Where a business does not achieve the top rating, the food safety officer will explain what improvements are needed.
Where will the food hygiene rating be displayed?
You can search for ratings for local businesses and anywhere else the scheme is being operated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland via the Food Standards Agency.
Businesses are also given a window sticker and certificate showing their rating and are encouraged to display these at their premises.
Where can I get further information?
Read more about the scheme.