Food Premises' Hygiene Ratings

The food hygiene ratings and what they mean to you

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • What are Food Premises' Hygiene Ratings?
  • How are the ratings worked out?
  • My business was inspected and I don't agree with the rating - can I have my say?
  • Do I have to display my window sticker showing my score?

What are Food Premises' Hygiene Ratings?

We take part in the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

You can see hygiene ratings of food businesses on the Food Standards Agency's website here.

Food Premises' Hygiene Ratings publishes scores to help consumers check the hygiene of a food business or premises. The scheme uses simple star scoring from 0 (the worst) to 5 (the best).

These scores are decided at an inspection of the premises and the business will normally display a sticker in the window showing the score it received.

What do you mean by food hygiene?

Food hygiene means the handling and preparation of food. It doesn’t mean the quality of the food or customer service.

How are the ratings worked out?

After we have inspected, we award a number of stars from 0 to 5 depending on how well the business did during the inspection. We check three areas to make sure they are meeting standards in food law:

  • Food hygiene
  • Structure and cleanliness 
  • Confidence in management

The rating is not meant to tell you about the quality of food or customer service.

My business was inspected and I don’t agree with the rating – can I appeal?

Yes. We notify you of the food hygiene score after the inspection. Once you have been notified you have 14 days in which to appeal to us. We suggest you contact the inspecting officer first. If this doesn’t resolve the issue you can lodge a formal appeal with the Licensing, Food and Safety Manager.

If you’d like to make a formal appeal, please download and complete the form and send it to The Food Safety Team, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3WG.

Download the form

My business was inspected I would like to leave a comment on the rating – can I have my say?

Yes – you are entitled to a ‘right to reply’ after we inspect your business.

This will be published on the Food Standards Agency Website along with your score.

You can send us your comments in writing using the FHRS - Right to Reply form. This needs to be sent to the officer that inspected your premises. 

Please note we may edit your comments before publication to remove any offensive, defamatory, inaccurate or irrelevant remarks.

I have made an appeal about my rating – how long does this take?

When we receive an appeal, we will decide the outcome within 7 days. We won’t publish the rating on the website until the appeal is finished.

Can I request another inspection?

Yes, you can request another visit as long as you’ve taken action to correct issues we raised. You can request this at any time but we do not usually visit again within three months of the first inspection.

Please note that we can only re-visit once between scheduled inspections unless there are justified exceptional circumstances.

If you’d like to request another inspection, please download and complete the form and send it to The Food Safety Team, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, Essex, CO3 3WG.

Download the form

Please bear in mind that we can’t guarantee another visit will improve your rating – it could remain the same or even be lower if we find new issues or the issues found in the original inspection haven’t been dealt with.

Please note that we can refuse to visit again if your case for our re-visit is not proven or you didn’t provide any or enough evidence.

If I request another inspection, when will you come and visit my business again?

Will we not tell you when we are going to revisit your business.

How much will a further visit to my business cost me?

There is currently no charge for a further visit although this may change in the future.

Do I have to display my window sticker showing my score?

No. Although we issue all businesses in the scheme with stickers, it is not against the law if you don’t display them. It is possible that this may change in the future.

How do I find the food hygiene rating or score of a local business?

You can search for the business at the Food Standards Agency website, where all the inspected businesses have their scores published. 

Is there guidance for mobile traders on food safety?

Yes, please read the guidance leaflet.