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Food hygiene rating scheme

Erewash Borough Council operate the Food Standards Agency's national food hygiene rating scheme (FHRS) for food premises across the Borough. The scheme is designed to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food.  It does this by giving information about the hygiene standards in food outlets at the time they are inspected to check compliance with legal requirements. 

This is a national scheme so you can check the rating of all the places you visit at the Food Standards Agencywebsite 

How are food hygiene ratings calculated?

The frequency of planned inspections of a food business is risk based and depends on the type of business and its inherent risk, the level of hygiene management control and the previous record of compliance. A risk rating score dictates the frequency that a business will be inspected. Inspection frequency varies from six to twenty four months.

The food hygiene rating is based on the risk rating and reflects the inspection findings. At a food safety inspection, an officer will check how well the food business is meeting the law.

Three areas are assessed, these are:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, cooled, stored, and what measures are taken to prevent food being contaminated with bacteria. This is the level of (current) compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures (including food handling practices and procedures, and temperature control);
  • the condition of the structure of the premises including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, equipment and other facilities.  This is level of (current) compliance with structural requirements;
  • The management and recording of what is done to make sure food is safe using a system like Safer food, better business (SFBB). This is called confidence in management/control procedures.

A score for each individual area and a total score, which is the sum of the three individual scores is given. Officers use Chapter 5 of the Food Law Code of Practice to determine the score. Typically, the higher the score in each of the above categories, the lower the food hygiene rating.

There are 6 FHRS ratings - these are taken from the 3 elements of the 'risk score' score in Chapter 5 of the Food Law Code of Practice.

Total Annex 5 scores 0 - 15 20 25 - 30 35 - 40 45 - 50 >50
Additional scoring factor No individual score greater than 5 No individual score greater than 10 No individual score greater than 10 No individual score greater than 15 No individual score greater than 20 -
Food hygiene rating 5 4 3 2 1 0
Descriptor Very good Good Generally satisfactory Improvement necessary Major improvement necessary Urgent improvement necessary

The rating given depends on how well the business does overall – the total score. It also depends on the area(s) that need improving the most - the business may do better in some areas and less well in others. To get the top rating, you must score no more than 5 in each of the three areas. All businesses should be able to get the top rating. A new rating is given as at each planned inspection.

How can a business improve its food hygiene rating?

To get the best possible rating a food business can:

  • Look at the last food hygiene inspection report to check that all the actions needed to meet legal requirements have been undertaken.  
  • At the next inspection, if the top rating is not given ask about the improvements needed to get a better rating.
  • Make sure that staff to comply fully with all aspects of food hygiene law at all times.

How is a food business notified of its food hygiene rating?

The Council works to the Food Standards Agency 'Brand Standard' for operating the scheme.  As part of this standard  the Council aim to notify the business of their food hygiene rating in writing within 14 days of the date of the inspection. This notification will include an inspection report and a FHRS sticker showing the hygiene rating awarded.

On receipt of the new sticker a business should no longer display any previous rating. If no appeal is made against the hygiene rating, the rating will appear on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website within 28 days of the inspection date.

Appeals

If a Food Business Operator (FBO) considers that the food hygiene rating is unjust, they may appeal the rating.  Before an appeal is considered the FBO is advised to contact the inspecting officer (details are on the letter) to discuss the score. 

If an appeal is still necessary this must be made in writing within 14 days of being notified of the food hygiene rating score for their business, using an appeal form issued by the Food Standards Agency. Details can be found in the FSA 'Brand Standard' Section 6

Right to Reply

A FBOs also has a 'right to reply'. This enables the FBO to give an explanation of subsequent actions that have been taken to rectify non-compliances, or mitigation for the circumstances at the time of the inspection that may have led to a low food hygiene rating. The 'right to reply' is not to complain about or criticise an inspecting officer. A 'right to reply' must be submitted using a 'right to reply' form issued by the Food Standards Agency. Details can be found in the FSA 'Brand Standard' Section 7.

Requesting a re-inspection

An establishment with a rating of '5' does not need a re-inspection as this is the highest rating possible.

Requests for re-inspections apply to establishments that have a rating of '0' to '4'. Requests must be submitted using a request for a re-inspection form issued by the Food Standards Agency . Details can be found in the FSA 'Brand Standard' Section 8.

A FBO can make a request for a re-inspection at any time after the planned inspection provided that actions needed to improve legal requirement have been carried out. Legal requirements and priority actions are detailed on the inspection report. Evidence must be submitted to support any application for a re-inspection, showing what measures have been taken to address issues detailed in the inspection report.

The re-inspection will not take place during the three months following the original inspection at which the rating was given (this is called the 'stand still' period). The re-inspection will then take place within three months following the end of the three month 'stand still' period (or within three months of the request where this is made after the 'stand still' period). This means that six months is the maximum time a business should have to wait for a re-inspection after making a request. The re-inspection will be unannounced unless it is necessary to ensure certain staff are present.

The re-inspection will not only assess whether the required improvements have been made, but will also assess the level of compliance that is found overall at the time of the re-inspection. This means that the food hygiene rating could go up, down or remain the same. The FBO will be notified in writing within 14 days of the inspection of their food hygiene rating.

Only one re-inspection following each planned inspection is allowed, other than in duly justified exceptional circumstances.

For more information please contact

Environmental Health
Merlin House
Merlin Way
Ilkeston
DE74RA
Tel: 0115 907 2244 ext 3820
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.