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Food hygiene ratings scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is a national scheme run by local authorities across the UK in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.

It applies to anywhere that serves food including pubs, cafes, supermarkets, restaurants, takeaways, hotels and even home-based food businesses. The Food Safety Officer inspecting a business looks at:

  • 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.

At the end of the inspection, the business is given one of six ratings.

Example of FHRS stickers

Ratings results

5 - Very Good
4 - Good
3 - Generally Satisfactory
2 - Improvement Necessary
1 - Major Improvement Necessary
0 - Urgent Improvement Necessary

Knowing what Food Hygiene Rating an eatery has will help you decide whether it's somewhere you want to go. This video helps explain things a little more.

What if my business doesn't achieve a '5'?

The Food Safety Officer who inspects your business will explain what improvements are needed and how you could achieve the top rating of '5'. If you are still unhappy with your rating you have the right to appeal within 21 days of your inspection. Download the form below.

The business is issued with a window sticker showing the rating that has been awarded following the inspection. Currently in England there is no obligation to display the sticker.

As a business, you can request a re-visit, but the request must be made in writing to this department; there is now a charge of £165 for a re-rating. Download the form below.

The revisit will be unannounced and will take place within three months of the receipt of payment. There is no limit to the number of requests for re-visits that can be made relating to the inspection. It's important to note that the rating can go up or down, or stay the same, following the re-inspection.

You can find the ratings for individual businesses on the Food Standards Agency website. You will need the business name and address.

If you have any questions about your FHRS rating, or there is an issue with the rating seen at a food business, please contact us.

Telephone: 01744 676789
Email: environmentalhealth@sthelens.gov.uk

Postal address: Regulatory Services, PO Box 512, St Helens, WA10 9JX