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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS)

After routine food hygiene inspections each food business is given a ‘hygiene rating’, which shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.     

The food hygiene ratings that officers can give are:
0 - Urgent improvement necessary
1 - Major improvement necessary
2 - Improvement necessary
3 - Generally satisfactory
4 - Good
5 - Very good

The business is also put into an inspection frequency category and these categories are related to the hygiene rating tiers in the FHRS scheme. The hygiene rating will appear on the Food Standards Agency website which is avaliable to the general public.

What should I do if I want to appeal my food hygiene rating?
Your food hygiene rating will be confirmed in writing, either at the time of the inspection or within 14 days (this includes weekends and public holidays). You can appeal against the rating if you think that it is wrong or unfair, in other words it doesn’t reflect the hygiene standards at the time of the inspection. It is a good idea first of all to speak to the officer who carried out the inspection of your premises: you will be given the officer’s contact details when you are notified about your rating. This will help you to understand how your rating was worked out and to see if you can resolve the matter without having to appeal.  If you still think the rating is wrong or unfair, you can lodge an appeal. To do this, you should complete the standard appeal form which is available from the Food Standards Agency website and send this to your local authority. 

How long do I have to appeal?
You must lodge your appeal in writing (you can send an email) within 21 days (this includes weekends and public holidays) of being notified of your food hygiene rating. You will be given the deadline for appealing when you are notified about your rating.  If you do not appeal before the deadline the local authority will publish your food hygiene rating online on the Food Standards Agency website.

What happens next and when will I know the result?
If you lodge an appeal, your food hygiene rating will be shown as ‘awaiting publication'. The local authority’s lead officer for food or his/her deputy will review your case (in some circumstances a further visit to your premises may be required) and you will be notified of the result within a maximum of seven days from the date that the appeal was lodged and your hygiene rating will then be published online.

How to improve your hygiene rating?
Many businesses are awarded the highest hygiene rating of 5 but if you received a rating of lower than 5 then you can apply for a re-rating inspection. You must complete a request for re-visit form and pay a fee of £150 (VAT exempt) details of which can be found on the form.