The Food Standards Agency’s ‘scores on the doors’ hygiene rating is one of the best-known badges of recognition for consumers.
In fact, the FSA reported that between 41-62 per cent of consumers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland often check if the rating is displayed before deciding whether or not to buy food from an establishment.
But what exactly is the food hygiene rating and how can you make sure your business gets top marks?
Run by the Food Standards Agency, the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) operates in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Once you've registered your food business with the local authority, they may send an inspector to give you a hygiene rating.
The food hygiene rating provides consumers with a clear indication of hygiene standards, using a straightforward 1-5 score:
In Wales and Northern Ireland, it's a legal requirement for businesses to display their ratings, and it’s likely this will eventually become a requirement for English businesses too.
Scotland has its own version of the scheme (known as the Food Hygiene Information Scheme) in which food-handling businesses are either given a pass, or are told that further improvements are needed.
To get a rating, Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) will visit the business to carry out a full hygiene inspection. They focus on three major areas:
If a business performs strongly in all three areas it'll be granted the 5 star food hygiene rating. However, if a business performs poorly, it'll have to undergo more regular checks.
It can seem overwhelming, so this food hygiene guide for businesses is designed to help you understand how to get that all-important 5 star rating.
This one goes without saying, but it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to keeping your workspaces clean.
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