How can a business improve its rating?

All business should be able to achieve the top rating.

To get the best possible rating, you should look at your last food hygiene inspection report to check that you’ve taken all of the actions needed to ensure that you meet legal requirements

At your next inspection, if you don’t get the top rating and you have queries about the improvements you need to make to get a better rating, then the food safety officer will be able to give you advice.

How is this assessed?

Your food hygiene rating is based on the level of compliance in three areas:

• How hygienically the food is handled – safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.
• The condition of the structure of the premises – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.
• How food safety is managed and documented – using a system such as Safer food, better business or Safe Catering or similar.

How can a business demonstrate that food is handled hygienically?

You can do this by showing, for example, that:

• There are high standards of personal hygiene of staff – e.g. clean over clothing (such as aprons), appropriate headwear, minimal jewellery and regular and appropriate hand-washing}
• Control measures in place to prevent cross contamination – e.g. use of separate areas for handling raw and cooked foods, proper use of colour coded chopping boards, and correct use of appropriate cleaning chemicals.
• Foods are stored at the correct temperature – e.g. food stored in fridges is maintained at less than 8°C (ideally between 0-5°C) and that the chill chain is protected.
• Foods are properly cooked, re-heated and cooled – e.g. foods are cooked to 75°C or hotter and are checked visually for signs of thorough cooking, and foods are cooled quickly and as necessary refrigerated.

Support for Businesses

The Food Standards Agency have produced an online tool aimed at businesses looking to develop a process to improve Food Hygiene.  MyHACCP will help you to develop a custom plan of action to identify any areas of improvement and ensure that your organisation is compliant with all relevant legislation.