Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

This is a national scheme run in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The scheme provides consumers with information about hygiene standards in food premises at the time they are inspected by local authority food safety officers to check compliance with legal requirements – the food hygiene rating given reflects the inspection findings.

The objectives are as follows:

For Businesses

  • The scheme will be a good advertisement for businesses that comply with food hygiene law - good food hygiene rating is good for business.
  • It's already a legal requirement for businesses to meet hygiene regulations.
  • Having the six different ratings gives businesses room to improve.


For Consumers

  • The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme enables you to make an informed choice about where you choose to eat out or shop for food, as it gives you an idea of what's going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors.
  • You can view the rating of the place where you choose to eat or shop by checking the sticker in the window, the certificate on display inside the premises or by going to the Food Standards Agency website at


How are the ratings worked out?

After a premises has been inspected an overall number rating, from zero (the worst) to five (the best) is awarded, based on food standards found at the time of inspection in the following three areas:-

  • Compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures.
  • Compliance with structural requirements.
  • Confidence in management control/procedures.


The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service provided to customers.

Safeguards for food businesses
In order to ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards.

 These are:

  1. An Appeal Procedure - if the business does not agree that the food hygiene rating reflects the standards of hygiene and management at the time of the inspection.
  2. A Right to Reply Procedure - allows the business to give an explanation of the subsequent actions that have been taken to make improvements or mitigating circumstances at the time of the inspection. These comments may be published online along with the food hygiene rating.
  3. A Request a Re-visit Procedure - when improvements have been made in order to be reassessed for a new rating.


Information for food businesses about these different safeguards is provided in the various documents within the list below.

Download Appeals Form 
Download Right to Reply Form 
Download Request a Revisit Form 

Further Information 

For further information please contact the Commercial Services section

Commercial Services Team,
Public Protection
Barrow Town Hall,
Duke Street,
LA14 2LD.

Telephone: 01229 876543.