The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a Food Standards Agency/local authority partnership initiative designed to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food. It does this by giving them information about the hygiene standards in food outlets at the time they are inspected to check compliance with legal requirements.
When you eat out or shop for food, you might see a sticker in the window or on the door showing you the hygiene rating for that business. Every premises which falls within the scheme is given a sticker and encouraged to display it in a place where you can easily see it when you visit. These stickers will also show the date the hygiene standards were assessed by the local authority's food safety officer. If you don't see the rating at a takeaway or other food business, you can ask a member of staff if the business is in the scheme and what rating was given at the last inspection.
If you can't find the information for a business you are interested in on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website, please contact the Food Safety Team. There could be a number of reasons why this might be the case.
Appeal a Rating
If the owner of a business thinks the rating they have received is unfair or wrong, either they or manager of the business should contact the Food and Health and Safety Team on 0115 876 1488 and talk with the food safety officer that inspected the business about why the rating was given.
If the business owner or manager still thinks that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing. To appeal, any food business can complete a Appeal Form and send it to to Food and Health and Safety Team within 14 days (this includes weekends and public holidays) of being told what their rating is.
The owner or manager of the business also has a 'right to reply'. This is different from an appeal. The owner or manager can complete a Right to Reply form and send it to their local authority to tell the food safety officer how the business has improved hygiene, or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. A business's right to reply will be published online by the local authority with the business's hygiene rating.
Request a Revisit
You can request a revisit to get a new rating, but only if the improvements to hygiene that the local authority food safety officer told the business about at the last inspection have been made.
The owner or manager of the food business can only ask the local authority for a re-visit to be carried out once before the date of the next planned inspection. To ask for a re-visit, any food business can complete a Request for a Revisit form and send it to Food and Health and Safety Team.
Further information about the scheme and general advice for businesses is available on the FSA's website (Food Standards Agency) or contact the Food and Health and Safety Team on 0115 876 1488.
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