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National Food Hygiene Rating System - Information for Consumers

What is the Rating Scheme?

Each business is awarded a rating by the Food Safety Officer who inspects it. The rating is calculated according to the level of compliance with food hygiene and safety law, the structural condition of the premises and the confidence in management controls / procedures.


All businesses covered by the Scheme will be given one of the following ratings:


0          Urgent improvement necessary

1          Major improvement necessary

2          Improvement necessary

3          Generally satisfactory

4          Good

5          Very good


The rating demonstrates how well the business performs overall. The highest rating means the business has achieved a very good standard of hygiene and the lowest rating means urgent improvement is needed to meet the requirements of food hygiene law. Where necessary, 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 good food hygiene rating is good for business.


How can consumers find out what rating a food business achieves?

Consumers can view the rating awarded to a business on the Food Standards Agency (external link) website.


Each business will be provided with a certificate that states their rating, which they will be encouraged to display to customers. The display of the certificate is voluntary; however, as the general public become more aware of the scheme, if they don’t see a certificate they may ask ‘why’?


How often will a food business be given a new rating?

A new rating is given each time the business is inspected by the Council. The frequency of inspection is determined by the level of food safety risk at the last inspection. 


What does ‘Awaiting Inspection’ mean?

If a new business has been set up or there is a new owner, it will not have a food hygiene rating to begin with but it may display a certificate that says ‘Awaiting Inspection’. A rating will only be given after a Food Safety Officer has inspected the business.


Related information

Last Updated: 3/20/2012

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West Lancashire Borough Council, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, West Lancashire L39 2DF
Tel: 01695 577177 | Email: customer.services@westlancs.gov.uk