Food hygiene rating scheme

What is the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?

The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a Food Standards Agency/Local Authority partnership initiative to provide consumers with at-a-glance information about hygiene standards in food businesses found during planned inspections.

The aim is to help consumers to make informed choices about where to eat out or shop for food.

Under the scheme, each food outlet may display rating information on their door or window. Rating information is also available from the national website where consumers can look up a food business hygiene rating on-line.

What types of businesses are included in the scheme?

Most food businesses that supply food directly to the consumer are included in the scheme including restaurants, shops, cafes, takeaways, delicatessens, care homes, hotels and pubs.

Are there any exemptions?

Some businesses are not included, for example child minders, as the business information includes personal information. These people will have the opportunity to opt into the scheme. Premises selling only low risk food are also exempted, as are manufacturers who do not supply food directly to the consumer. These businesses are still included in the council's food hygiene inspection program even though they may not be part of the rating scheme.

How are businesses rated?

Following each programmed food hygiene inspection an overall numerical rating, from 0 (the worst) to 5 (the best) is awarded, based on food hygiene and safety standards found at the time of inspection in the following three areas:

  • Compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures.
  • Compliance with structural requirements.
  • Confidence in management control/procedures.

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

Safeguards for food businesses

In order to ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards. These are: An appeal procedure; a 'right to reply', and an opportunity to request a re-visit when improvements have been made in order to be reassessed for a new rating. The relevant forms and information for businesses are available to download below.

Following an inspection it may take up to 28 days for the new rating to appear on our website. If you have any queries about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme more information is available from the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website at or you can contact the Councils Environmental Health and Housing Team on 01757 705101.

Scheme disclaimer

The food hygiene rating scheme is not an endorsement of current standards but merely reflects the score we awarded a premises at the time of their inspection. Nevertheless, we try very hard to make sure the information available on these pages is correct. The food hygiene rating scheme adheres to the FSA's brand standard.