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Food Safety

Foot hygiene rating scheme

Food hygiene rating scheme

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.

It is designed to help people choose where to eat out or shop for food by providing information about food hygiene standards. Included in the scheme are restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels supermarkets and other shops selling food directly to consumers. You can use our web pages to link to the national Food Hygiene Ratings website here to find the hygiene ratings of premises in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and the Food Hygiene Information Scheme in Scotland. The national website has useful search features and location maps. 

How are the ratings worked out?

Local food businesses are inspected to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safely.

After a premises has been inspected an overall number rating, from zero (the worst) to five (the best) is awarded, based on food safety standards found at the time of the inspection. Three areas are assessed with regard to compliance with food law:

  • food hygiene
  • structure and cleanliness
  • confidence in management.

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

Key to ratings list

5 = very good
4 = good
3 = generally satisfactory
2 = improvement necessary
1 = major improvement necessary
0 = urgent improvement necessary.

Some premises are ‘exempt’ from the ratings scheme. These exempt businesses are still inspected but they are not given a rating. Exempt premises are premises which are considered to be low risk either because of:

  • the types of food handled
  • or because there are few customers

The food business operators are asked to display their award sticker. This is not currently a legal requirement but if they do display their sticker it must relate to the most recent inspection.

Food business operators may:

  • appeal their score , if they think they have been incorrectly rated;
  • request one revisit to be rescored, if they have made improvements; and/or
  • post a ‘right of reply’ on this website.

If you are a food business operator please use the following forms to request any of these services:

For further information please contact the Regulatory Services food safety team:

t: 01702 215005
Regulatory Services, Food Safety Team, Southend on Sea Borough Council, Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend, Essex SS2 6ER

Page last updated: 15/08/2018