Food Hygiene Ratings explained

Food Ratings in England and Wales

Inspecting officers use a Food Standards Agency scoring scheme to rate businesses dependent upon their degree of compliance with hygiene legislation. There are three elements to this score, relating to:

These tables explain the scores in more detail:

Table 1 - Level of compliance for food hygiene (including food handling practices, procedures and temperature control); and structure (including cleanliness, layout, condition of structure, lighting, ventilation, facilities etc) of the premises
Compliance Score Description
25

Almost total non-compliance with statutory obligations, e.g. Food Hygiene: Very poor food hygiene practices. Serious food contamination risks. Inadequate temperature control. Structure: Evidence of pest infestation. Serious structural disrepair. Very poor cleanliness.

20

General failure to satisfy statutory obligations - standards generally low, e.g. Food Hygiene: Poor standard of hygienic food handling. Inadequate temperature control. Cross contamination identified. Structure: Evidence of pest infestation. Structural disrepair and poor cleanliness.

15

Some major non-compliance with statutory obligations, e.g. Food Hygiene: Cross contamination identified. Non-compliance with requirements for safe food preparation, handling, cooking etc. Structure: Significant improvements required in structure and cleaning (e.g. damaged or dirty work surfaces). Possible evidence of pest activity.

10

Some non-compliance with statutory obligations, e.g. Food Hygiene: Potential risk of cross contamination identified. Some lapses in food hygiene and safety procedures (e.g. fridge temperature too high), but generally satisfactory. Structure: Generally satisfactory structure and cleaning, but with occasional lapses. Some cleaning or repairs required. Possible evidence of pest activity.

5

High standard of compliance with statutory obligations. Only minor contraventions In matters of food hygiene or structure.

0

High standard of compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice; conforms to accepted good practices in the trade.



Table 2 - Confidence in management and control procedures (including the 'track record' of the company, management attitude towards hygiene and food safety, hygiene and food safety technical knowledge and documented procedures based on HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) principles)
Compliance Score Description
30

Poor track record of compliance. Little or no technical knowledge. Little or no appreciation of hazards or quality control. No food safety management procedures. Staff not suitably supervised and/or trained.

20

Varying record of compliance. Poor appreciation of hazards and control measures. Inappropriate or inadequate food safety management system.

10

Satisfactory record of compliance. Generally satisfactory food safety controls in place. All significant food safety hazards understood and controls in place. Some gaps or deficiencies in food safety management records OR making satisfactory progress towards a documented food safety management system. Staff generally suitably trained and/or supervised.

5 Reasonable record of compliance. Food safety management procedures in place. Hazards properly understood, controlled and managed. Food safety management records generally adequate and up to date. Staff suitably supervised and/or trained.
0

Good record of compliance. Food safety management procedures in place. Hazards properly understood, controlled and managed. Up to date and appropriate food safety management records. All staff suitably supervised and/or trained.

So, for example, a premises scoring 10 for hygiene compliance, 15 for structural compliance and 10 for confidence in management/control procedures, has a total score of 35. The score of 35 is then used to obtain the food hygiene rating score for the food business, using the table below:

Food Hygiene Rating Score
Compliance Scores 0-15 20 25-30 35-40 45-50 >50
Additional Scoring Factor No score > 5 No score > 10 No score > 10 No score > 15 No score > 20
Tiers Top Second Third Fourth Fifth Bottom
Food Hygiene Rating 5 4 3 2 1 0
Very Good Good Satisfactory Improvement Necessary Major Improvement Necessary Urgent Improvement Necessary

In this example, a score of 35 falls into the fourth tier meaning the food business would be awarded a food hygiene rating of 2 ("Improvement necessary").

A premises with a high levels of compliance might score 0 for hygiene, 0 for structure and 0 for confidence in management - a total of 0 which would equate (using the table above) to a food hygiene rating of 5 ("Very good").

Essentially, the lower the total compliance score for hygiene + structure + confidence in management, the higher the food hygiene rating score.

Hygiene Ratings is an independent website. It is not affiliated with the Food Standards Agency. All rating data is published under the Open Government Licence.