It applies to anywhere that serves food including pubs, cafes, supermarkets, restaurants, takeaways, hotels and even home-based food businesses. The Food Safety Officer inspecting a business looks at:
- How hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
- The condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
- How the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe
At the end of the inspection, the business is given one of six ratings.
5 - Very Good
4 - Good
3 - Generally Satisfactory
2 - Improvement Necessary
1 - Major Improvement Necessary
0 - Urgent Improvement Necessary
Knowing what Food Hygiene Rating an eatery has will help you decide whether it's somewhere you want to go. This video helps explain things a little more.
What if my business doesn't achieve a '5'?
The Food Safety Officer who inspects your business will explain what improvements are needed and how you could achieve the top rating of '5'.
The business is issued with a window sticker showing the rating that has been awarded following the inspection. Currently in England there is no obligation to display the sticker.
As a business, you can request a revisit, but the request must be made in writing to this department; there is now a charge of £162 for a re-rating. The revisit will be unannounced and will take place within three months of the receipt of payment. There is no limit to the number of requests for re-visits that can be made relating to the inspection. It's important to note that the rating can go up or down, or stay the same, following the re-inspection.
The ratings for individual businesses can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.
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