Food Hygiene Rating scheme

The 'Food Hygiene Rating Scheme' is based upon a nationally recognised initiative, supported by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Each business is given a ‘hygiene rating’ from 0 to 5 when it is inspected by one of our food safety officers. The hygiene rating shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

Example of Food Hygiene Rating sticker

Information for businesses

The food safety officer inspecting your business will check how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe

At the end of the inspection, your business is given one of the six ratings. The top rating of ‘5’ means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. Any business should be able to reach this top rating.

Find out what each rating level means on the FSA website.

The food safety officer will explain what improvements are needed and how your business can achieve the top rating of '5'. They will check that these improvements are made.

Operators scoring less than the top rating of 5 can download further guidance(pdf, 420KB).

Appeals procedure

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been designed to make sure that the ratings given to businesses are fair. If you think that the rating your business received after an inspection is unfair or wrong, you can appeal in writing.

Download an appeal form(pdf, 79KB) and send it to us at the address below within 14 days (including weekends and public holidays) of receiving your rating.

Right to reply

As the owner or manager of food business, you will have a ‘right to reply’. This is different from an appeal in that you can explain how your business has improved hygiene since the last inspection, or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. Your right to reply will be published online by the local authority along with the hygiene rating for your business.

Download a right to reply form(pdf, 64KB) and send it to us at the address below.

Ask for a re-visit

As the owner or manager of a food business, you can only ask for a re-visit to be carried out once, before the date of the next planned inspection.

Download a re-visit form(pdf, 83KB) and send it to us at the address below.

Check the frequently asked questions page on the FSA website for other information relating to the rating scheme.

If you have any questions or would like any advice, please contact us:

Consumer Protection

Regulatory Services Partnership
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8545 3025
Fax: 020 8891 7713

We are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Updated: 18 March 2019