The Food Hygiene Ratings System (FHRS) is a national scheme aimed at helping the customer make an educated decision on the safest restaurants to dine at. Food Hygiene Ratings for inspected premises are freely available online and can impact upon both reputation and custom and can assist in the continued success of a business.

So what happens? Restaurants and other food businesses are inspected by an environmental health officer from their local authority who then, based upon the results of their inspection, will award a rating from 0-5. This rating is then published by the local authority at and is freely accessible by simply searching for the business name or postcode. It is also available on our online management system FACT. If your business scores well, this can have a positive impact by attracting additional custom however if you score is low, it is you may see a negative impact with subsequent repercussions.
Fear not – there are three safeguards in place to assist you if you feel you have been awarded an unfair rating or if you feel the hygiene standards at the time of inspection were judged incorrectly. These are the right to appeal, the right to reply and the right to request a revisit when improvements have been made to be reassessed for a new rating:
The Appeal Process
If you want to appeal, you have 14 days from the date you were awarded the rating (including weekends and public holidays) to do so. Once the appeal is received by your local authority, your business will appear on the Food Hygiene Ratings website and your rating will show as ‘awaiting publication’. The case will then be reviewed by the lead food safety officer – the officer who gave the initial rating will not be involved in the consideration of your appeal.
Right to reply
The right to reply will allow you to explain to your customers any actions you have taken to improve hygiene standards since your inspection, such as those required by the EHO, or to comment on any unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection that might have impacted negatively upon your rating.
Requesting a revisit
Once you have made the improvements requested by the local authority, you can request a re-visit before the next planned inspection in order for you to be re-rated. Remember – there is no guarantee that your rating will go up, it may even drop.
Food Alert can support you throughout and with all aspects of this process.
If you have any queries regarding the Food Hygiene Ratings system, or require advice and support, please contact Food Alert.




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