The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is run in partnership with the Food Standards Agency. Businesses are given a score between 0 (urgent improvement necessary) and 5 (very good) dependent upon the food hygiene standards found by an officer during an inspection.
What do the food hygiene ratings mean?
5 = Very good
4 = Good
3 = Satisfactory
Non compliant businesses
2 = Improvement necessary
1 = Major improvement necessary
0 = Urgent improvement necessary
How are food hygiene ratings calculated?
Food hygiene ratings are calculated at the time of the unannounced routine food hygiene inspection.
The rating is based on three areas:
- Food hygiene and safety procedures – how hygienically the food is handled, how it is prepared, cooked, cooled, stored, and what measures are taken to prevent food being contaminated with bacteria, chemicals and foreign bodies;
- Structural requirements – the condition of the structure of the premises including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, availability of hot and cold water, equipment and other facilities; and
- Confidence in management – how you manage and record what you do to make sure food is safe using a food safety management system.
Food businesses will be given a score in each area using national guidance issued by the Food Standards Agency.
The rating given depends on how well the business does in all three areas and the total score. It also depends on the area(s) that need improving the most - the business may do better in some areas and less well in others.
To get the top rating, you must score no more than 5 in each of the three areas. A higher score results in a lower food hygiene rating.
All businesses are able to get the top rating.
You will automatically get a new rating at each planned inspection of your premises.
What businesses are included within the scheme?
Food businesses which supply food directly to the consumer will be included within the scheme, such as:
- Public houses (including wet sales only)
- Hotels, guesthouses and bed & breakfasts
- Retail shops including corner shops and supermarkets
- Schools and nurseries
- Care and Nursing homes
- Lunch clubs
- Mobile caterers
- Home caterers such as cake and chutney makers
Businesses will not be included if they do not sell food directly to the consumer such as cash & carries who only sell to businesses and food manufacturers. Other low risk businesses may also be exempt such as:
- Businesses such as chemists and newsagents which only sell pre-packaged low risk foods.
- Businesses such as leisure centres who only have vending machines
- Premises such as village and church halls which are hired out or only serve hot drinks and brought biscuits
How can I find my rating?
Business food safeguards - What can I do if I am not happy with my rating?
In order to ensure that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is fair to businesses there are three safeguards:
Right to appeal
Food businesses will be notified of their food hygiene rating in writing after their inspection.
Once notified, businesses will have 21 days in which to appeal if they feel that the rating is unjust.
The business should first speak to the officer who carried out the inspection so that they can explain and help them to understand how the rating was calculated.
If the business still thinks that the rating is unfair an appeal may be lodged with the Team Leader of the Food and Safety Team, by submitting a completed copy of the Food Safety - Business appeal form, outlining why you disagree with the rating.
The form can be returned by post or email.
The Lead Officer will review the food hygiene rating; in the meantime the food hygiene rating will not be published.
The business will be notified of the result of the appeal within 21 days from the date the appeal was received by us and the food hygiene rating will be published on the food hygiene rating scheme website.
If the business does not agree with the appeal they can challenge the decision by judicial review.
Request a re-score
Once 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 and the unannounced revisit will be carried out within 12 weeks of the request as long as the food business operator has provided sufficient evidence that the required improvements have been made.
There are no limits on how many times a food business operator can apply for a re-score. There is a charge of £155.00 for each re-score application.
The food business operator must apply by submitting the Food Safety - Business revisit request form.
The form can be returned by post or email.
The fee of £155.00 must be paid before returning the form, otherwise the application will not be accepted.
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.
Right to reply
The right to reply allows food businesses to explain to their customers the actions they have taken since the inspection to improve food hygiene standards. It also lets them explain if there were any unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection and how this had affected the rating.
The comments will be published on the food hygiene rating scheme’s website alongside the businesses food hygiene rating.
Comments need to be made in writing using the Food Safety - Business right to reply form. This can be returned by post or email to the inspecting officer.
There is no time limit for submitting comments.
Right to reply cannot be used to criticise the scheme, your inspection or the officer who carried out your inspection. The comments made may be edited to remove any offensive, defamatory or clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks before they are published
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to display my rating?
Businesses currently do not have to display their window sticker by law. It is possible this may change in the future.
How can I promote my rating to improve my business?
You will receive a rating window sticker which you can display at the entrance to your business.
The Food Standards Agency have produced an online toolkit which offers ideas on how to promote your food hygiene rating to increase the number of customers who visit your business. This includes videos and downloads such as window stickers, banners and graphics for websites and menus.
You must display your most recent rating sticker.
Please note that if you display or use an incorrect rating at your premises or within your advertising this may constitute an offence under Trading Standards legislation.
How can I improve my rating?
To improve your food hygiene rating you should:
- Read your last food hygiene inspection report and make sure that you have addressed all the points included within the Legal Requirements Schedule. If you have any queries, contact the food safety officer for help.
- Make sure you have implemented controls relating to the E.coli O157 guidance, the E Coli Checklist will help you.
- Ensure that you have a written food management system that reflects your current business operation. The Food Standards Agency have produced a pack called Safer Food Better Business to assist with this. The Safer Food Better, Business Pack can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency website or you can buy a copy from us.
- Make sure that your food handlers are following your food management system at all times.
- A copy of Derby City Council’s “Your Guide to Food and Safety Compliance’” is available free of charge. If you would like a copy please contact us.
- You can also carry out your own inspection by completing the self-assessment checklist.
Business advice and information can be found by visiting our business advice page and E.coli 0157 guidance page
The Food and Safety Team is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy when you use our services. Please view our Food and Safety Team Privacy Notices for further information, printed copies are available on request.