Food safety for business

Food hygiene rating scheme (FHRS)

From January 2011, Hyndburn Borough Council signed up to the Food Standards Agency’s national food hygiene rating scheme.

All food businesses inspected by officers from Environmental Health are given a rating based on their compliance with the legal requirements for hygiene, structural condition and management performance.

Following a food hygiene inspection a business included in the scheme is rated from five for a very good premises through to zero for those premises that need to improve urgently. It is currently voluntary for the businesses to display the rating but gives the consumer an indication of its overall level of food hygiene compliance. As a guide:

  • A premises with a zero to one rating demonstrates virtually no awareness of “Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)”, limited monitoring of critical control points and is poor in relation to structure and cleanliness. These premises are likely to be subject to further formal action in terms of Hygiene Improvement Notices, Simple Cautions and Prosecutions to secure future improvements.
  • A premises with a two to three rating demonstrates an awareness of HACCP and routinely monitoring the critical control points, but have limited documentation. The premises must be generally fair in relation to structure and cleanliness.
  • A premises with a four rating shows an ability to demonstrate an understanding of HACCP and have good food safety management systems. The premises must also have good structure and cleanliness throughout.
  • A premises with a five rating has a fully documented HACCP based system and includes a system of self-inspection and verification coupled with very good structure and hygiene practices. To help businesses demonstrate to officers how they achieve this standard the directorate has produced some standard records and forms (available below).

All applicable businesses on completion of the food hygiene inspection will receive an inspection summary, window sticker and rating certificate stating the category from zero through to five. Businesses are requested to display their rating and it is valid until their next routine inspection.

The aim of the scheme is to improve food hygiene standards in the city and also to give the public a more informed choice about where to eat based on food safety.

There are approximately 763 food businesses in Hyndburn that are inspected for food hygiene. An up-to-date list of their ratings following the last inspection can be viewed on the FSA’s food hygiene rating scheme website.

The rating is only a reflection of conditions found on the day of the inspection and standards may have gone up or down since that inspection. The rating will be downgraded where standards deteriorate and are not maintained. The rating is only a reflection of conditions found on the day of the inspection and standards may have gone up or down since that inspection. The rating will be downgraded where standards deteriorate and are not maintained.

What can the owner of a business do if they think the rating given was wrong or unfair?

Appeal

If you, are not satisfied with the rating you have been awarded you should discuss this, in the first instance, with the Environmental Health Officer who carried out the inspection to understand why the rating was awarded.

If you still think that the rating awarded is unfair or wrong, you need to lodge an  (see downloads at bottom of this page) and email it to food_team@hyndburnbc.gov.uk. You have 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) from the date of receipt of the notification letter to lodge an appeal.

To lodge an appeal, please complete the form, which will be submitted to the Lead Officer in Environmental Health. For your information, the contact details for the Lead Officer are detailed on your inspection report, and provided with the written notification of your food hygiene rating.

Once the appeal form has been submitted, the Lead Officer will review the inspection findings and the rating awarded. The outcome of the appeal will be communicated back to you within 7 days.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal, then you can contact the  FSA’s Independent Business Appeals Panel to review the decision.

Full details of the appeal process are in the FSA’s safeguards for food businesses.

Right to reply

The owner or manager of the business also has a ‘right to reply’. This is different from an appeal. The owner or manager can  (see downloads at bottom of this page) to tell the Environmental Health team, how the business has improved hygiene or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. The form should be emailed to food­_team@hyndburnbc.gov.uk

A business’s right to reply will be published online by the local authority with alongside the business’s hygiene rating.

Request a revisit

If, you operate a food business in Hyndburn and you have made improvements to the hygiene standards in your business, that the food safety officer identified during your last inspection as requiring attention. You can complete the revisit request form below.

You will need to provide details of the steps you have taken to address the points raised in the inspection report, which can be done when you complete the online form. You can also include information to support your request.

Downloadable documents