Food hygiene rating schemes
The Food Standards Agency, in partnership with local authorities, is rolling out the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Food Hygiene Information scheme in Scotland. The schemes help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, cafés, takeaways, hotels and food shops.
The schemes also encourage businesses to improve hygiene standards. The overarching aim is to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness.
You can search for information about hygiene standards at restaurants, takeaways and food shops at food.gov.uk/ratings
The Agency is working with local authorities to encourage as many of them as possible to run the national schemes, so that consumers can compare hygiene ratings of food businesses in their local area and further away from home.
Each local authority can choose whether it wants to take part or not but numbers are increasing all the time. The scheme is now running in all areas of Wales and in many areas of England and Northern Ireland. A decreasing number of local authorities are still running their own ‘local schemes’ (these are often referred to as ‘scores on the doors’ schemes). Read more information about these local schemes.
Some questions and answers about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Food Hygiene Information Scheme in Scotland, can be found at the link below.
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Find out about hygiene standards of restaurants, takeaways or food shops in a local authority area.
The Agency has produced a range of guidance and materials to assist local authorities operating the national food hygiene rating scheme.
In order to ensure that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards. These are an appeal procedure, a 'right to reply' and an opportunity to request a re-visit when improvements have been made. There is also an 'opt in' form for 'exempt' businesses that supply consumers but have not been routinely given a food hygiene rating.
Some different 'local' food hygiene rating schemes are still operating in some areas. These schemes, which also provide consumers with information about hygiene standards in food outlets, are not part of the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or the Food Hygiene Information Scheme in Scotland.
The UK-wide Scores on the Doors Steering Group was set up to advise the Agency on the development and implementation of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and Food Hygiene Information Scheme.
This section contains background information about the introduction of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Food Hygiene Information Scheme for Scotland, as well as progress updates on their implementation.