The national food hygiene rating scheme provides consumers with information about hygiene standards in food business establishments at the time they are inspected to check compliance with legal requirements on food hygiene. The food hygiene rating given ('0' up to '5') reflects the inspection findings. The food hygiene rating scheme is operated by the Food Standards Agency.
The purpose of the food hygiene rating scheme is to allow consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or shop for food and, through these choices, encourage businesses to improve their hygiene standards. The overarching aim is to reduce the incidence of food-borne illness and the associated costs to the economy.
Explanation of ratings
There are six different food hygiene ratings ('0' up to '5') - the top rating represents a 'very good' level of compliance with legal requirements and all businesses irrespective of the nature or size of their operation should be able to achieve this.
|5||Very good||Excellent standards of food hygiene. Fully compliant with the law and meets/exceeds industry standards|
|4||Good||Good food safety management. High standard of compliance with food safety|
|3||Generally satisfactory||Good level of legal compliance. Some effort may be required|
|2||Improvement necessary||Compliant with food safety legislation. More effort required to meet all legal requirements|
|1||Major improvement necessary||Poor level of compliance with food safety legislation - much more effort required|
|0||Urgent improvement necessary||A general failure to comply with legal requirements. Little or no appreciation of food safety. Major effort required|
Find an establishment
Businesses are encouraged to display certificates and stickers showing the food hygiene ratings of their premises where consumers can easily see them. Businesses are issued with a certificate and sticker showing their food hygiene rating within 14 days of the date of their inspection. There is no legal requirement for a business to display a certificate or sticker.
Establishments in the rating scheme
The scope of the food hygiene rating scheme extends to establishments supplying food direct to consumers. The categories include:
- caterers such as restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, sandwich shops, mobile traders, home caterers and other places where people eat food prepared/cooked/served outside of the home.
- food retailers such as supermarkets.
- establishments where public access is limited but where food is prepared, cooked, or handled and served to consumers, such as schools, nurseries and residential care homes.
Establishments not in the rating scheme
Those establishments that do not supply food direct to consumers fall outside the scope of the food hygiene rating scheme and therefore are not rated. This includes:
- primary producers
- manufacturers and packers
- importers and exporters
- distributors (including wholesalers, and other inter-business suppliers)
Certain food businesses are operated from a private address and the address of such businesses is excluded from the online ratings shown on the food hygiene rating scheme website.