food hygiene ratings

Food Hygiene Ratings

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Food Hygiene Ratings Explained

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) used in England and Wales takes into consideration three important aspects of each food-related business and its operations: Hygiene, Structural and Management.

Hygiene

How hygienically the food is handled - including how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored.

Structural

The condition of the structure of the buildings - the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.

Management

Confidence in Management - how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

For each of the three elements scored, the range is from 0 for the best standards, through to a maximum (poorest) score of 25 for each of hygiene and structural compliance, and a maximum of 30 for confidence in management. These scores are then combined to give a final FHRS score which is used to calculate the rating as follows:

Total Score 0-15 20 25-30 35-40 45-50 50+
Tier Top Second Third Fourth Fifth Bottom
Rating rated 5/5 rated 4/5 rated 3/5 rated 2/5 rated 1/5 rated 0/5
Definition Very Good Good Generally Satisfactory Improvements Necessary Major Improvement Necessary Urgent Improvement Necessary

If the food business does not achieve the Top Tier (5) rating, the inspecting officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements need to be made and what action they can take to improve their hygiene rating.


Food Hygiene Information Scheme in Scotland

In Scotland, the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) is used instead of the FHRS, but is still run by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with each Local Authority.

Each business is given an Inspection Result when it is inspected by an enforcement officer from the local authority. The inspection result shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

After the inspection, the business can be given one of two results:

FHIS Pass Logo 'Pass' - this means that the business has achieved an acceptable level of compliance with the requirements of food hygiene law.
FHIS Fail Logo 'Improvement Required' - this means the business has not achieved an acceptable level of compliance with the requirements of food hygiene law.

The enforcement officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements are needed and how they can meet the requirements of food hygiene law. The local authority will check that these improvements are made.


FHIS Eat Safe Award

FHIS Eat Safe Logo The Eat Safe Award is not part of the Food Hygiene Information Scheme but compatible with it. Food businesses can apply for the Eat Safe Award. If their hygiene standards are better than those required by law, in accordance with the defined award criteria, they will receive the award. Any business that has gained the Eat Safe Award will be operating at standards higher than the Food Hygiene Information Scheme 'Pass' standard.