Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

1. About the scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps customers choose where to eat out or shop for food by providing information about the hygiene standards.

After an inspection, food businesses will be issued with a rating depending on the food hygiene standards - '0' means urgent improvement is required, '5' means the hygiene standards are very good.

Food hygiene ratings are posted on the Food Standards Agency website and businesses can also choose to display their ratings on the premises for customers to see.

2. Requesting a revisit

If your business makes improvements to hygiene standards and you want a new food hygiene rating, you can ask for a reinspection to be carried out earlier than planned.

To request a revisit, complete the application form application form (DOC, 87KB) and return it by email to or post to the Food Safety Team. Please explain in detail what actions you have taken on the issues raised at your last inspection, including any necessary supporting evidence such as documentation or photographs.

Where the local authority charge for the revisit, the standstill period will not be applied and the revisit will be carried out within 3 months of receipt of your request and payment of the fee.

The fee to request a revisit (for all programmed inspections carried out from the 1st of April 2017 onwards) is £210 payable prior to the revisit. Contact for more information.

3. The Right to Reply

Businesses have a 'Right to Reply' to their food hygiene rating by posting comments on the Food Standards Agency website. 

This allows you to explain any actions you have taken after your inspection to improve hygiene standards at your premises or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection that might have affected your food hygiene rating. It should not be used for complaints or criticisms of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme or the food safety officer.

You can submit a Right to Reply form (PDF, 132KB) by email to or by post to the Food Safety Team.

Replies are vetted by the council before being published alongside the business's hygiene rating on the Food Standards Agency website.

4. Appeals

If you think a hygiene rating is unfair or wrong, you have 21 days to submit an appeal from the date of notification of your hygiene rating.

It is a good idea to first speak informally to the food safety officer that undertook the inspection of your premises. This will help to understand how your rating was worked out.

You can submit an appeals form (PDF, 59KB) by email to or by post to the Food Safety Team.

If you lodge an appeal, your food hygiene rating will be put on hold until a decision is made. You will be notified of the outcome within 7 days and your food hygiene rating will then be published on the Food Standards Agency website.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may still be eligible to request a revisit or right to reply. 

If you disagree with the outcome of the appeal, you can challenge the decision by judicial review and should seek the advice of a solicitor.

5. Displaying the food hygiene rating

Businesses do not have to display their food hygiene rating but putting a rating on show is good publicity for businesses that meet the requirements of food hygiene law.

However, current ratings can be viewed publicly on the Food Standards Agency website.

A good food hygiene rating is good for business!

Last updated: 2 January 2018