Food hygiene rating scheme
Food hygiene rating scheme
The national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) helps customers choose where to eat or shop for food.
There are over 2,600 food outlets registered in Newcastle and they are inspected regularly by officers from our food safety team.
Information for customers
Food hygiene ratings
When businesses are inspected by food safety officers, they are given a rating from zero to five. The higher the number, the better the rating.
The FHRS scheme covers:
- mobile caterers
- shops selling food
The rating is usually displayed at the business' premises (but businesses do not have to).
It is also available to view on the Food Standards Agency's food hygiene ratings website.
Understanding the ratings
A business' food hygiene rating shows how well it is complying with the expected standards. The rating is based on what was found when it was last inspected.
If the rating is low, customers may then choose to buy their food or meal from another business with a higher rating.
The ratings are:
- 0 – urgent improvement necessary
- 1 – major improvement necessary
- 2 – some improvement necessary
- 3 – hygiene standards are generally satisfactory
- 4 – hygiene standards are good
- 5 – hygiene standards are very good
Information for businesses
To ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include several safeguards.
- a right to appeal
- an ability to request a re-rating visit
- a right to reply
- the option to ask for early publication of a rating
Right to appeal
If you feel your rating is wrong or unfair you should talk to the officer that inspected your business in the first instance.
If you then still think the rating is unfair or wrong, you can appeal in writing.
To appeal, the owner or manager of the business must:
This must be within 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) of being told what your rating is.
Request a re-rating visit
Businesses have a right to request that an inspector visits again, after action has been taken to improve food hygiene standards, to carry our a re-rating.
This request can usually be made at any time after an inspection has taken place, however you must:
- provide details of the improvements made
- include any supporting evidence
- pay £165 for each re-visit carried out at your request
If we believe you have shown improvements, a food safety officer will then make an unannounced visit within three months of the fee being paid.
Following this visit you will be given a new food hygiene rating based on what the inspector finds. You should be aware that your rating could go up, down or remain the same.
To request a re-visit please:
A member of our business support team will contact you using the details provided to take payment.
Right to reply
Businesses have a right to reply to their food hygiene rating by posting comments on the Food Standards Agency's food hygiene ratings website.
This allows you to explain any actions you have taken after your inspection to improve hygiene standards or to say if there were factors at the time of the inspection that might have affected your rating.
It should not be used for complaints or criticism of the scheme or our food safety officer.
Allow your rating to be published early
Businesses can request that a food hygiene rating is published on the Food Standards Agency website before the 21 day appeal period has ended.
Once a request has been received and checked, we will request that the rating is published on the Food Standard Agency website.
Even if a business achieves a top rating there can be a short delay while the local authority updates the website. Our food team upload ratings at least every 28 days.
For more information go to the FHRS website.