Food hygiene ratings

If you are thinking of starting a food business must

  • register at GOV.UK
  • contact us to discuss how you intend to operate and what you are going to sell

About the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS)

The scheme helps customers choose where to eat out or shop for food by providing clear information about the businesses’ hygiene standards. The scheme gives businesses a rating from 5 (hygiene standards are very good) to 0 (urgent improvement is required). The food standards agency will publish your rating online and you can choose to have a window sticker at the premises.

The food hygiene rating looks at three areas:
  • food hygiene
  • structure and cleanliness
  • confidence in management

The food hygiene rating does not assess the quality of the food or the standard of service. 

We give ratings to;
  • restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • takeaways, food vans and stalls
  • canteens and hotels
  • supermarkets and other food shops
  • schools, hospitals and care homes

You can find out more about food hygiene ratings and what different scores mean on the Food standards agency website. You can also find a food hygiene rating for a business.


Some businesses we inspect do not need a food hygiene rating, this includes:

  • businesses that are low-risk to public health visitor centres (or similar) selling pre-wrapped goods that do not need refrigeration 
  • leisure centres with only food vending machines selling drinks or low risk wrapped foods
  • childminders or similar businesses that offer caring services at home
  • food manufacturers

Appeal your rating

If you feel your food hygiene rating is not fair, you have 21 days from when we issued the rating to appeal it.

We encourage you to speak to the Inspector who carried out the inspection first. If you cannot resolve the issue, you can make a formal appeal to the Environmental Health Manager.

To make an appeal, you need to complete the food hygiene rating scheme appeal form.

The lead food officer will make a decision on your appeal and will let you know the outcome within 21 days of your appeal.

The rating will not be published on the food hygiene rating scheme website until the appeal has been decided.

However, you can request that the rating is published before the end of the appeal period by completing the form to request early publication of rating.

Right to reply

When we issue your food hygiene rating, you have a ‘right to reply’.

You can explain:

  • what actions you have taken to improve your food hygiene
  • any circumstances that contributed to your rating

Your reply will appear next to your hygiene rating on the Food Standards Agency website.

We will edit your reply before it is published if it is offensive or inaccurate.

To reply to your rating, you need to complete food hygiene rating scheme right to reply form.

Request a re-score visit

If you have made changes to improve your food hygiene rating and want to be rescored you can ask us to re-visit your premises before your next scheduled inspection.

Before you ask for a re-score you must make sure you have corrected all the non compliances identified during your previous inspection.

You can apply for a re-score at any time after we have inspected your premises.

You can apply for a rescore as many times as you like. 

Apply for a re-score

We charge £180 for each re-score. You must pay the fee online to complete your application.

After you book your re-score visit

The Food Inspector will make an unannounced visit. This will take place as soon as possible after we receive payment.

Our local authority officer will give you a ‘new’ food hygiene rating. They will base this on the level of compliance at the time of the re-visit. Your rating could go up, down or remain the same.

Your rating

  • Ratings of 5 are published straight away on the food hygiene rating website
  • Ratings of 4 and below are not published until the appeal period has passed.

Appeals can take time so you can ask us to publish your results before your appeal is over.

Complete the early publication of rating form.


Food and Safety

Address: Causeway House,
Bocking End,

Telephone: 01376 557790