The nationally recognised scheme is run by the Food Standards Agency although there are many similar smaller schemes if your local authority is not part of it yet (if you are unsure you may check with your local council to see how you can view food hygiene scores/records) The food hygiene rating scheme for our local authority and other Essex areas launched on 14th February 2011. If you haven't heard of it before then i shall explain further.
The scheme is run by local authorities and the Food Standards Agency and helps us choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat, as well as supermarkets,other food shops and home food businesses, such as Love Cupcake!
At the inspection, the officer will check:
- how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
- the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
- how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe
The rating given shows how well the business does overall. The business may do better in some areas and less well in others and the rating takes this into account. This includes those areas that need improving the most.
The officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements need to be made and what action they can take to improve their hygiene rating.
A business can be given one of these ratings:
The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are rated on a scale. At the bottom of the scale is ‘0’ – this means urgent improvement is required. At the top of the scale is ‘5’ – this means the hygiene standards are very good.
A rating shows you how well the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law. It gives you an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors, so you can choose where you eat or buy food.
Does a food business have to show its rating?
No, so if you see a business without a hygiene rating sticker or certificate, you’ll have to decide if you want to eat or buy food from there without knowing the hygiene standards.
Putting a hygiene rating on show is a good advertisement for businesses that meet the requirements of food hygiene law.
Here is a really useful video by the Food Standards Agency to help highlight the important of these scores