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Food Premises' Hygiene Ratings

Colchester Borough Council takes part in the Food Standards Agency's (FSA's) national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

If you're planning to eat out in Colchester Borough why not check the hygiene rating of the business before you gohere.

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. The FHRS has already won broad acceptance from the catering industry, trade associations, and consumer groups.

How are the ratings worked out?
Local food businesses are inspected to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safely.

After a premises has been inspected, an overall number rating, from zero (the worst) to five (the best) is awarded, based on food safety standards found at the time of the inspection. Three areas are assessed with regard to compliance with food law:

  • Food hygiene
  • Structure and cleanliness
  • Confidence in management

The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service provided to customers.


Information for Businesses
Right of Appeal
Businesses will be notified of their food hygiene score and rating after the inspection. Once notified, they will have 14 days in which to appeal, if they feel that the rating is unjust. The food business operator is encouraged to contact the inspecting officer in the first instance, and then if the matter cannot be resolved, a formal appeal may be lodged with the Licensing, Food and Safety Manager, by submitting a completed copy of  pdf icon Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Appeal Form [108kb]

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 Until the appeal has been decided, the rating will not be published on the website.

Provision of Stickers
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.


Right to Reply
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  pdf icon Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Right To Reply Form [104kb], 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.


Request for a further revisit for the purposes of re-scoring
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.

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

The food business operator must apply in writing on the pdf icon Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Request for Revisit Form [110kb] 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.

Revisits for re-scoring will be unannounced.