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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme: Businesses

Information for businesses about inspections, revisits and appeals

We run the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). This is one part of our food business inspection programme.

How it works

During an inspection, the hygiene standards are rated on how well the business does overall. It ranges from 0 (urgent improvement required) up to 5 (very good).

Businesses don't have to display their ratings. However, it is a good way to show they are meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

New businesses, or existing businesses with a new owner, can display an 'awaiting inspection' sticker until we make an inspection.

Checking ratings

Customers can search food hygiene ratings online.

Making improvements

Businesses rated '0' or '1' must make urgent and major improvements to their hygiene standards.

We will give advice about the changes that need to happen. If we need to, we can use enforcement measures to make sure changes are made. This may mean temporarily closing the business to protect the public. 

Food hygiene revisit

If you've improved hygiene standards, you can ask us to do a re-score inspection of the premises before the next food safety inspection is due. 

A rescore visit costs £138. Once payment is received, we will carry out an unannounced inspection within 3 months. We will check the improvements you have made and give you a new rating. 

Right to appeal

Business owners or managers can make an appeal within 21 calendar days after a Food Hygiene Rating inspection. 

If you think your Food Hygiene Rating is unfair or wrong, please email us within this time at We can explain why the rating was given and the steps you need to take to change it. 

If you are still unhappy after this, you can make a written appeal to us. To do this, complete and return a  Food Hygiene Rating Scheme appeal form (Word doc) [184KB] .

Right to reply

You also have the right to reply to any Food Hygiene Rating your business has been given. This allows you to explain how your business has improved their food hygiene since its inspection, or if there was any unusual circumstances at the time.

To do this, complete and return the  Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Right to Reply (Word doc) [182KB] form. The information you give will be checked and published online alongside your business' Food Hygiene Rating.

Publishing your rating early

If you're the owner of a food business that has scored less than 5, you can request that a rating is published before the end of the appeal period. This means you waive your right to appeal but would have your rating published earlier. To do this, complete and return the  consent to publish Food Hygiene Rating score early (Word doc) [129KB] form. 

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