Food business inspections

Food safety laws require all businesses to take reasonable care to ensure food is safe at all stages of production and sale. The responsibility is on the Food Business Operator to ensure that the food premises meets the requirements set down in legislation. All food businesses are inspected to ensure that the food is safe to consume. The frequency of these inspections depends upon the potential risk posed by the type of business and its previous record.

What we check

Our inspections check:

  • that food is hygienically handled
  • that food is safe to eat
  • the potential risk for food poisoning or injury
  • food handlers are properly trained
  • the condition of equipment and the premises
  • that there are precautions to prevent pest infestation

If problems are identified during the inspection, inspectors can issue advice or take enforcement action to protect the public.

Food Hygiene Ratings

After each inspection the food business will receive one of the following hygiene standard ratings:

  • Food Hygiene Rating sticker example5 (very good)
  • 4 (good)
  • 3 (generally satisfactory)
  • 2 (improvement necessary)
  • 1 (major improvement necessary)
  • 0 (urgent improvement necessary)

The findings of all inspections are published as a hygiene rating and then added to the findings from across the UK by the Food Standards Agency.

The hygiene rating is also available as AndroidiPhone and Windows 8 apps.

Challenging your rating

If you believe your food hygiene rating is unfair, you can:

Food Hygiene Coaching Service

To assist businesses, The Food Safety Team has also introduced a Food Hygiene Coaching Service providing one-on-one advice and instruction tailored to the specific business needs. This will help businesses develop the skills and systems needed to raise standards.

Contact us

For details of the current fees for both the Re-Rating Visits and Coaching, to obtain further details or to make a request for either Service please contact us on 0208 937 5252 or