Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Food businesses across the UK are inspected by Environmental Health Officers from the local council. Following the inspection, each business is scored according to the standards of hygiene (i.e... food handling procedures, temperature control) structure (repair & cleanliness) and management of food safety. The council publishes these scores on a national website operated by the Food Standards Agency so consumers can make informed choices about where they choose to eat or buy food. If consumers are choosing where to eat based on standards found, food business operators will be keen to improve their score and thus the standards of their business.

Businesses will be notified of their food hygiene score and rating soon after the inspection. Once notified, they will have time to appeal, if they feel that the rating is unjust. The food business operator should contact the inspecting officer in the first instance, and then if the matter cannot be resolved, a formal appeal may be lodged with the Lead Officer for Food, by submitting a completed copy of Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – Appeal Form [pdf] 39KB

When an appeal has been lodged the outcome will be decided within 7 days. Until the appeal has been decided, the rating will not be published on the website.

All businesses which are within the scheme will be issued with window stickers. It is not currently against the law if a business does not display these, but it is possible that this could change in the future.

Food business operators are entitled to lodge a 'right to reply' following an inspection. This will then be published on the website with the score.

Comments need to be made in writing on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – Right To Reply Form [pdf] 39KB , and sent to the inspecting officer.

The text published on the website may be edited to remove any offensive, defamatory, or clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks.

If the food business operator has taken action to correct any issues raised as a result of the inspection, they are entitled to apply to be re-scored. This request can be made at any time, but the revisit will not generally take place within the first 3 months after the initial inspection and the authority then has a further 3 months to carry out the revisit.

Only one requested revisit will take place between programed inspections, other that in justified exceptional circumstances.

The food business operator must apply in writing on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme – Request for Revisit Form [pdf] 40KB. The council can refuse to undertake the revisit, if the case made by the food business operator is not substantiated or if insufficient evidence is provided. Revisits for rescoring will be unannounced.

There is currently no charge for such revisit requests, although this may change in the future.

Note: There is no guarantee that a revisit to rescore will result in an improved rating. It is possible that the rating could remain the same or even go down, if insufficient action has ben taken or if further issues are identified.

Food hygiene ratings, and information for businesses and members of the public can be found at

For further advice or information please contact Environmental Health Services by telephone on 01268 882200 or via email