Guide Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

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1. Scoring system

The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme provides customers with information about hygiene standards in food businesses.

Businesses given a rating include cafés, restaurants, takeaways, sandwich shops, pubs, hotels, supermarkets and other food outlets.

Our Environmental Health Officers carry out food hygiene inspections of food premises according to the Food Law Code of Practice. At the end of an inspection the business is given a score for the management of:

  • food hygiene compliance (handling and preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage)
  • structural compliance (cleanliness, condition, layout, lighting and ventilation)
  • confidence in management (management and records, training, procedures, maintenance)

These scores help determine how often the business will be inspected.

The rating score is determined by adding these three scores together and ensuring there is no significant failing in any one score.

There are six possible ratings a premises can be awarded, with the top rating of 5 -  meaning the business has achieved a very good standard of compliance with the law. Any business, no matter how small, should be able to achieve a good standard of 4.

Some very well managed businesses may not be able to meet the top structural score because they require significant building works which may not be possible in listed buildings or where building extension is not possible. 

When this content has been updated

Last updated 8 February 2024