Food Inspections and Hygiene Rating Scheme

We inspect the premises of all food businesses registered with us. This is to ensure that you are following food law requirements.

Inspections are carried out by our Environmental Health Officers or an authorised officer contracted to carry out inspections on our behalf. They will normally be unannounced.

The timescale of your inspection is determined on whether your practices have been assessed as high risk or low risk.


About the inspection

Food handling practices of staff

Structure, facilities, cleanliness and pest control arrangements

Food hygiene management and training

They will also want to see a written, step-by-step, food safety management system (FSMS), including a diary where opening and closing checks are recorded. This system will demonstrate how you provide safe food and will also check that these procedures are followed by any staff you employ.

However, if you run a smaller business such as a corner shop selling only low risk or wrapped food, simple records such as temperature records, pest control records and cleaning schedules etc will be sufficient.

The Food Standards Agency have therefore developed various packs entitled Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) available on their website for you to download and print.  Alternatively you can purchase FSMS/SFBB packs from online retailers.

Whether you download or purchase your SFBB pack please ensure that it is the latest version and therefore contains up to date guidance eg. allergen advice.


Inspection results and hygiene ratings

Following the inspection you will receive a report which will contain items that you must put right by law and items that are recommended improvements. There will be timescales allocated to each item that requires rectifying.

If your business is included in the food hygiene rating scheme you will be given a rating sticker. You must display this latest sticker in your premises unless you intend to appeal against the rating. When your report has been entered onto our systems your rating will be uploaded to the Food Standards Agency ratings website.


Right to reply

As the food business operator of the establishment you have a ‘right to reply’ in respect of the food hygiene rating given following your inspection. The purpose is to enable you to give an explanation of subsequent actions that have been taken to make the required improvements as detailed in the inspection letter, or to explain mitigation of the circumstances at the time of the inspection. It is not for making complaints or for criticising the scheme or food safety officer.

If you wish to use this ‘right to reply’, please use the attached form and return it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your comments will be reviewed by the team and may be amended before being published online and displayed together with your food hygiene rating.

Right To Reply Form


Follow up inspections

If your business receives a rating of 2 or below in the food hygiene rating scheme you will be re-visited in accordance with our enforcement policy. Our officers will continue to work with your business in a fair and consistent manner until you meet the required standards to comply with the law. We will also try to help you meet your legal obligations without unnecessary expense. These interventions are to ensure improvements are made to food safety and will not result in a re-score unless you request this (see section below).

If your business still does not comply with the relevant standards, enforcement action will be taken where necessary. This may mean prosecution when there is a serious breach of the law and when people act irresponsibly. This may result in a court appearance and, if found guilty, receiving a fine or even a prison sentence.


Request a visit for the purposes of food hygiene re-rating

Once you have carried out the required improvements identified in your inspection you can apply online for your premises to be re-rated. The fee for this service is £170. You will need to provide us with details of improvement actions you have taken.

If your application is accepted, we will make an unannounced visit within 3 months of receipt of your request and payment. You will be given a new food hygiene rating based on the level of compliance found at the time of our visit; which could mean that your rating could go up, remain the same or go down. 

Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme request for a revisit


 01246 242424
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No specific documents