Fylde Council has rolled out The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The aim of the scheme is to make it easier for residents and visitors in the Borough to choose places with good hygiene standards when they’re eating out or shopping for food. The food hygiene rating tells you about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels, supermarkets and other places they go to for food.
The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.
Your business will be given a hygiene rating following a planned inspection by a food safety officer from your local authority. Your hygiene rating depends on the standards of hygiene found at the time of the inspection. Your business can be given one of six ratings. These are on a scale from ‘0’ at the bottom, which means that urgent improvement is necessary, to ‘5’ at the top, which means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards.
The rating you are given will depend on:
- how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, cooled, stored, and what measures are taken to prevent food being contaminated with bacteria
- the condition of the structure of your premises, including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, equipment and other facilities
- how you manage and record what you do to make sure food is safe
The food safety officer will explain to you if there are any improvements needed, what they are and how you can achieve a higher rating.
It is possible for any business to achieve the top rating, whether they are catering for a few or thousands of clients.
The food hygiene rating is not a guide to food quality.
You can appeal if you think your hygiene rating is wrong or unfair – in other words it does not fairly reflect the hygiene standards found at the time of your inspection. You must lodge an appeal within 21 days of being told what your hygiene rating is. The appeals form can be filled in online here.
Right to Reply
You have a ‘right to reply’ if you’ve improved hygiene standards since your inspection, or if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection and you want to explain this to your customers. You should submit this using this form and it will be published with your hygiene rating at www.food.gov.uk/ratings
Re-score – Have you paid your fee?
You can ask for another visit to get a new rating if you make the improvements to hygiene standards that the local authority food safety officer told you about at your last planned inspection. You’ll need to do this in writing, supply evidence of the improvements made and pay the appropriate fee of £128. The food safety officer will re-assess hygiene standards and give you a new rating – this could go up but it could stay the same or it could go down. You are advised to contact your last inspecting officer who will assist. A re-score form can be filled in online here.
You can find out more about these safeguards at www.food.gov.uk/ratings (external link).