Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

 

The national food hygiene rating scheme will mean that food premises in Arun will be given a rating based on the hygiene standards found when premises are inspected by Arun District Council food safety officers. A numerical rating is given ranging between 0 (urgent improvement necessary) to 5 (very good).

 

Helping customers choose where to eat out

The ratings will allow the public to make informed choices about where they buy and eat food. It will reward the better performing businesses and provide an incentive to businesses with poor food hygiene to improve. The rating given to businesses will be published on a national website.

 

How will businesses be scored?

Local businesses are inspected to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safety. After the inspection an overall rating is awarded based on the food safety standards found at the time of the inspection. Three areas are assessed with regard to compliance with food law:

  • food hygiene and safety – food handling practices, temperature control
  • structure of the premises – layout, cleanliness, facilities
  • confidence in management – track record of the business and confidence that standards will be maintained in the future

The rating does not reflect the quality of the food or the standard of service provided to customers. The scoring for each of the categories follows strict guidance laid down in annex 5 of the Food Law Code of Practice (England).

The score for the three categories are then translated into one of the following ratings:

food hygiene

The scheme publishes the scores on the national website (link above) following the inspection and businesses are issued with a certificate and window sticker to display in their premises which will show the rating achieved during the food hygiene inspection.

 

Appeals Process

Introduction

You must lodge your appeal in writing using the Appeal Form v1.1.doc [doc] 167KB within 21 days (this includes weekends and public holidays) of being notified of your food hygiene rating - you will be told the deadline for appealing when you are notified about your rating.  You can send the form to us by post at the address below or by email to food.safety@arun.gov.uk.

What is the purpose of the appeal process?

Following a hygiene inspection of your premises by a food safety officer from your local authority you will be told in writing - either at the time or within 14 days (this includes weekends and public holidays) - what your food hygiene rating is. If you think that the rating is wrong or unfair – in other words it does not reflect the hygiene standards at the time of inspection – you can appeal against this.

What should I do if I want to appeal my food hygiene rating?

It is a good idea to speak informally first of all to the food safety officer that undertook the inspection of your premises - you will be given the contact details for this officer when you are notified about your rating. This will help you to understand how your rating was worked out and to see if you can resolve the matter without having to appeal.

Following that, if you still think the rating given is wrong or unfair, you can lodge an appeal. To do this, you should complete the standard appeal form which is available to download from our site or by going onto the Food Standards Agency website and send this to your local authority’s lead officer for food – again you will be given the contact details for this officer when you are notified about your rating.

How long do I have to appeal?

If you do not appeal within 14 days of being notified of your rating, your local authority will publish your food hygiene rating on the Food Standards Agency website.

What happens next and when will I know the result?

If you lodge an appeal, the information will show that your food hygiene rating is ’awaiting publication’.

The lead officer for food or his/her deputy will review your case (in some circumstances a further visit to your premises may be required) and you will be notified of the result within a maximum of seven days from the date that the appeal was lodged and your hygiene rating will then be published on the Food Standards Agency website.

What if I don’t agree with the outcome of the appeal?

You can challenge the local authority’s decision by judicial review and should seek the advice of a solicitor.

 

Right to Reply

What is the purpose of the ’right to reply’?

This lets you explain to potential customers any actions that you have taken after your inspection to improve hygiene standards at your premises or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection that might have affected your food hygiene rating. It is not an opportunity to complain or criticise the food hygiene rating scheme or your food safety officer.

What should I do if I want to use my ’right to reply’?

You should send your comments in writing using the Right to Reply Form.doc [doc] 183KB. This should be sent to the food safety officer that undertook the inspection of your premises - you will be given the contact details for the officer when you are notified about your rating.

How long do I have to submit my comments?

There is no deadline for this so you can submit your ’right to reply’ at any time up until your next inspection when you will get a new food hygiene rating.

What happens next?

Your local authority may edit your comments in order to remove any offensive, defamatory, clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks. Other than that, what you say in your ’right to reply’ will then be published online together with your hygiene rating on the Food Standards Agency website.

 

Revisits Process

What is the purpose of requested revisits?

You will automatically be given a new food hygiene rating each time your premises are inspected by your local authority - the frequency of these planned inspections depends on the risk to people’s health. The greater the risk, the more often you will be inspected.

If you make the improvements to hygiene standards that the local authority food safety officer told you about at your last planned inspection 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.

Is there anything I should do before making a request for a revisit?

You are recommended to look carefully at the comments that the food safety officer made about the hygiene standards found at your last inspection in the report or letter you were given and make sure that you have taken appropriate action to address any issues raised. You can discuss anything you are unsure about with your food safety officer or ask for further help on how to make improvements.

There will be a charge of £166 for each revisit carried out at your request. The revisit will be carried out within three months of receipt of your application and payment. You can make payment by logging on to our website and going to the make a payment page  or by phoning 01903 737755.  The officer will be looking at standards generally – not just at the specific areas you have been working to improve – so your hygiene rating could well go up, down or remain the same.  You can find more information about how to get a good food hygiene rating in our guide:  How to get a good food hygiene rating.docx [docx] 35KB

What should I do if I want to request a revisit?

You should put your request in writing using the Revisit request form - Aug 2016.docx [docx] 62KB, which can be emailed or posted to the food safety officer that undertook the inspection of your premises - you will be given the contact details for this officer when you are notified about your rating. 

You must explain what actions you have taken on the issues raised at your last inspection and you should include supporting evidence, for example, receipts or photographs to show that work has been completed. This is important as the local authority could refuse your request if you do not provide sufficient information and evidence.

If the request is refused you will be given an explanation of why and advice on any action you need to take or evidence you need to provide before your request can be agreed. If you do not agree with the local authority’s decision to refuse your request, you can raise the matter with the lead officer for food. If you cannot resolve matters with the lead officer for food, you can use the council’s complaints procedure.

How long do I have to make my request?

There is no deadline for this - you can ask at any time after you’ve taken action to make the necessary improvements that were identified at your inspection. You cannot, however, dictate when the revisit will take place.

How soon will the local authority visit?

The revisit will take place within 3 months of receiving your application form and payment. 

What happens next and when will I know the result of the revisit?

At the revisit, the food safety officer will assess the standards of hygiene at your premises and you will be told in writing - either at the time or within 14 days (this includes weekends and bank holidays) - what your new food hygiene rating is. This could stay the same as before, it could go up, or it could go down.

As with the original hygiene rating, you can appeal this if you think it is wrong or unfair, or you can submit a ’right to reply’ for publication on the Food Standards Agency website or you can request another revisit but you will have to pay the £166 fee if you want a further revisit.

 

Further information

For further information about the scheme visit the Food Standards Agency website or contact the Food Safety Team on 01903 737755 or email: food.safety@arun.gov.uk