Food safety - inspections

Food Hygiene Scheme logo Derby has around 2,000 food businesses. It is the responsibility of the Food and Safety Team to check that all food premises understand and comply with food and health and safety law.


The Food and Safety Team

Our Food and Safety team:

  • carry out regular food and safety inspections of food businesses within the city, helping them to comply with the law
  • offer practical advice to enable food businesses to operate safely
  • investigate food related complaints concerning unsafe food, food premises and practices and take appropriate action as necessary
  • carry out food sampling
  • carry out checks on imported food
  • respond to food alerts from the Foods Standards Agency
  • take part in events to raise awareness of food safety issues
  • regularly inspect local food manufacturers
  • keep a register of food businesses operating within Derby.

How often are food businesses inspected?

The frequency of inspections of food premises is based upon risk assessment. Some food premises and businesses present a higher risk to the consumer than others. This is dependent upon a number of factors such as:

  • the type of food business
  • the nature of the food
  • the degree of handling
  • the size of the business.

Those premises posing a higher risk to the consumer will be inspected more frequently than those with a lower risk.

Food premises are inspected within the range of at least every six months, for food manufacturers to at least every three years for retailers. Local authorities may carry out more frequent inspections where they consider this appropriate, for example if they receive complaints that are justified, or poor standards are found in a business.

What is a food alert?

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) operates a system to alert food authorities and the public to national and regional problems concerning food. In many instances these alerts will be advertised in local and national media.

Where a problem has occurred, food is normally withdrawn voluntarily by the food companies concerned. In more serious cases, officers will contact or visit businesses to ensure the affected products are removed from sale.

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

We have adopted the Food Standards Agency's (FSA's) national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The scheme enables members of the public to easily compare food businesses in the city to provide information about the level of compliance with food hygiene legislation in an understandable and easy way.

Run in partnership with the FSA, the food hygiene rating scheme (FHRS) replaces our previous ‘Scores on the Doors’ star rating scheme. The FHRS will gradually replace the different schemes currently running across the country and provide consumers with a single, easy to understand scheme. It has already won broad acceptance from the catering industry, trade associations, and consumer groups.

View the rating awarded to a particular food business in Derby through the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. This website will allow you to access information on when a food business was last inspected and how it was rated for food hygiene.

All catering premises (this includes: restaurants, cafes, pubs serving food and takeaways) have received a rating which will be listed on the FSA's website. All other food businesses in the city included in the FHRS will be rated at the next routine food hygiene inspection conducted in line with the council's food business inspection programme.

Are all food businesses covered by the scheme?

Most food businesses in the city will be covered by the scheme, but there are some premises that will fall outside the scope of the scheme. These include those that do not supply food directly to the public such as manufacturers and distributors, childminders and some very low risk premises such as newsagents and chemists selling only pre packed confectionary.

How are the ratings worked out?

Local food businesses are inspected to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safely. After the business has been inspected, a rating, based on food safety standards is given. The rating is indicated by using a scoring system from 0, indicating urgent improvement is necessary, to 5 indicating very good standards of food hygiene.

The rating for a food business is calculated using a number of different variables and these relate to the level of current compliance with regards to food hygiene, structure and cleanliness at the premises and the confidence in the management of the food business. It is important to note that the rating awarded to a food business refers only to the conditions found at the premises on the date of inspection. It is possible that conditions at the premises could improve or deteriorate between inspections. It is important to note that the rating only reflects food hygiene; it does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service provided to customers.

View how the ratings are calculated

Will a food business have to display the window sticker?

All businesses, which are within the scheme, will be issued with a certificate and window sticker. 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.

What happens if a food business disagrees with their rating?

Businesses will be notified of their food hygiene rating in writing after their inspection. Once notified, they will have 21 days in which to appeal if they feel that the rating is unjust. Their 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 they disagree with the rating.

When an appeal has been lodged the outcome has to be decided within 21 days. Until the appeal has been decided, the rating will not be published on the website.

Can a food business get their rating changed?

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 it may take up to 6 months to take place.

Only one requested revisit will take place between programmed inspections.

The food business operator must apply in writing using the Food Safety - Business revisit request form. 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.

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 re-score will result in an improved rating. It is possible that the rating could remain the same or even go down if insufficient action has been taken or if further issues are identified. The revisit will be conducted within the stated timescales but will be unannounced.

Are food businesses allowed to make their own comments about the rating they received?

Food business operators are entitled to lodge a ‘right to reply’ following an inspection. This will be published on the website with their rating.

Comments need to be made in writing using the Food Safety - Business right to reply form and sent to the inspecting officer.

Received correspondence may be edited to remove any offensive, defamatory, or clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks before being published.

How will someone know that the window sticker a food business displays is genuine?

Members of the public can check the FSA's website at any time to confirm the date of inspection and rating assigned to a food business. If they find that this differs from the certificate displayed by the food business then they should contact our Food and Safety team who will investigate.

I have looked on your website for the rating of a particular food business and it is not there. Why?

The FSA website of City food businesses that have been inspected along with their assigned ratings will be updated every 4 weeks.

If a particular food business is not displayed on the list it could be for a number of reasons:

  • The food business may not be located in Derby. Our food safety officers only inspect food businesses within Derby City limits. Any food businesses outside this area will be inspected by the Local Authority whose area they are located in, although not all Local Authorities have adopted the FHRS yet.
  • The food business may not have been inspected yet. A food business will get a rating at their next programmed food hygiene inspection. This can vary from 6 months for high-risk premises to five years for very low risk premises.
  • The food business has appealed their rating and a review is being undertaken.

PLEASE NOTE: All forms require hand written signatures, therefore they cannot be submitted electronically. Please print them off and send them to the address listed at the bottom of each form.

Useful forms


Contact details

Post address:
Food and Safety Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 640779
Minicom: 01332 640666
Fax: 01332 643299
Food and Safety Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street