The Food Ratings System
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme encourages consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat or buy food by looking at the results of food hygiene inspections.
Food hygiene ratings are published by the Food Standards Agency and businesses should display stickers showing their ratings so that consumers can easily see them.
There are six different food hygiene ratings from 0 to 5. The top rating represents a very good level of compliance with legal requirements.
We have a risk-based inspection regime which covers all food businesses in Sefton. They are inspected to ensure that food is being manufactured, prepared and handled in a hygienic and safe manner. Their risk determines the frequency of inspection of between 6 months or 2 years. The greater the risk, the more often you will be inspected.
If you make improvements to hygiene standards that a food safety officer told you about you can ask for a revisit, before the next planned inspection, so that the hygiene standards in your premises can be reassessed with a view to giving you a new and higher food hygiene rating.
There are various sanctions which can be imposed on businesses which fail to comply with the law, ranging from written warnings to legal notices and prosecution. Businesses which are found to pose an imminent risk to health can be closed immediately.
In order to ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, the following safeguards are available:
- an appeal procedure
- a right to reply procedure
- an opportunity to request a re-visit when improvements have been made in order to be re-assessed for a new rating