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What do Food Hygiene Ratings mean?

What do Food Hygiene Ratings mean?

As an organisation that provides high-quality Food Safety & Hygiene Training to organisations in the hospitality and retail sectors across the UK, we respect those who provide food and take pride in their hygiene practices.

Luckily for those food lovers out there, you’re able to recognise which restaurants and food providers best take care of hygiene practices by the look of their windows or doors! That’s all thanks to the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?

The government-led scheme that operates in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (Scotland’s variant is the Food Hygiene Information Scheme) is all about protecting the consumer from receiving food prepared in unsanitary conditions. It is aimed in particular at restaurants, cafés, and other food shops.

A breakdown of the ratings

There are lots of variables that create the deciding factor of a Food Hygiene Rating, and we won’t include them all, but here is a rough breakdown of the deciding factors of a Food Hygiene Rating...

Food Hygiene Rating 0

The lowest of the 6 ratings mean that urgent improvement is absolutely necessary. You would receive a score of 0 if your premise received more than 50 points from the inspection. The way most premises would receive this amount of points would be through a major food hygiene breach, and similarly anything else that put an individual's health at immediate risk.

Food Hygiene Rating 1

A rating of 1 means that major improvements are needed. If an organisation scores between 45 and 50 points, it’ll receive this rating. Organisations can amount this number of points if there are multiple breaches of food hygiene rules and a lack of training among staff.

Food Hygiene Rating 2

A rating of 2 is given to organisations that score in the region of 35 and 40 points on an inspection. You can expect roughly this amount of points if there are questionable handling practices and outdated equipment. Receiving this rating means that there is still major room for improvement when it comes to your organisations food hygiene practices.

Food Hygiene Rating 3

Being generally viewed as a satisfactory score, organisations will receive a Food Hygiene Rating of 3 if they score between 25 and 35 points in an inspection. Although there is room for improvement, these issues won’t be of an immediate threat to any individual.

Food Hygiene Rating 4

Receiving a Food Hygiene Rating of 4 means that your organization will be seen as a good provider of food, at least for the concerns of food hygiene. You can score a rating of 4 by receiving a total of 20 points in your inspection.

Food Hygiene Rating 5

The creme de la creme of Food Hygiene Ratings; you’ll receive a rating of 5 if your organisation receives between 0 and 15 points. This is the standard ALL orgnaisations that handle and provide food should be aspiring to achieve.

How can I check my Food Hygiene Rating?

For the most accurate results, you can find results on the FSA’s website by simply searching the name of the organisation or the address.

On the FSA website, you can see the last date of inspection, their current rating, and the details of the business.

Do I have to display my food hygiene rating?

It is only a legal requirement to display your Food Hygiene Rating if your organisation is based in Wales or Northern Ireland. Although it’s not a legal requirement in England, the FSA highly encourage that organisations display it anyway.

It must be placed in a visually prominent place so that consumers are able to see it. The FSA suggests either on the front door or on windows at the front.

How do I order a Food Hygiene Rating sticker?

Once your organisation has been registered with your local authority, you’ll be subject to a food hygiene inspection. Once complete, you will receive an inspection report, the details of any changes you need to make, and your Food Hygiene Rating sticker.

You can also download stickers for England, Wales and Northern Ireland on the website. But note, you must not alter these stickers in any way without first getting approval from the FSA.

How can I get a rating of 5 for my organisation?

There is plenty of guidance on the FSA’s website to help you work towards a rating of 5. However, organisations must take action on certain elements of their storage and preparation processes, making it certain that staff know best practice on subjects like infection prevention, food safety, and allergy awareness.

We created a Food Hygiene Course Bundle to collate all of the courses that staff should take if they’re involved in food preparation or the storage and handling of food. These courses include: 

Once the courses have been completed, they provide all staff members with a printable certificate so that they can show due diligence to current legislation surrounding food safety.

Claim your no-obligation free trial to any of our courses today!

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