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Bournemouth Borough Council together with a number of other Dorset Authorities have launched the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Bournemouth used to have its own scheme with the Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates but this has now been replaced by the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
The scheme provides information on food hygiene to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places they eat, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.
The scheme also encourages businesses to improve hygiene standards.
Ratings are given to places where you can eat out such as restaurants, takeaways, cafés, sandwich shops, pubs and hotels. Ratings are also given to schools, hospitals and residential care homes.
Places where you shop for food, such as supermarkets, bakeries, and delicatessens, are also given a rating.
Not all businesses in these groups are given a rating. This is because some businesses, for example a newsagent selling sweets, are a low risk to people’s health so are not included in the scheme. These businesses are said to be ‘exempt’ from the scheme.
A food safety officer from the local authority inspects a business to check that it meets the requirements of food hygiene law.
At the inspection, the officer will check:
The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are then rated on a scale. At the bottom of the scale is ‘0’–this means urgent improvement is required. At the top of the scale is ‘5’–this means the hygiene standards are very good.
The rating given shows how well the business does overall. The business may do better in some areas and less well in others and the rating takes this into account. This includes those areas that need improving the most.
The officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements need to be made and what action they can take to improve their hygiene rating.
The food hygiene rating reflects the hygiene standards found at the time of inspection by a food safety officer from the business’s local authority.
A business can be given one of these ratings:
The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are rated on a scale. At the bottom of the scale is ‘0’–this means urgent improvement is required. At the top of the scale is ‘5’–this means the hygiene standards are very good.
A rating shows you how well the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law. It gives you an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors, so you can choose where you eat or buy food.
The two groups of exempt businesses are:
These types of business can ask to receive a food hygiene rating if they wish. Only details of those in the first group will be published on food.gov.uk/ratings| but those in the second group can share their rating with parents and others using their services.
A new rating is given each time the business is inspected by a food safety officer from the business’s local authority.
How often inspections take place depends on the risk to people’s health. The greater the risk, the more often the business is inspected.
If the business owner or manager makes improvements to hygiene standards, the business can ask its local authority for a visit to be carried out before the date of the next planned inspection. This means these improvements can be checked and a new rating could be given.
Businesses given ratings of ‘0’ or ‘1’ must make urgent or major improvements to hygiene standards. The local authority food safety officer will use a number of enforcement tools as well as giving advice and guidance to make sure these improvements are made.
If the officer finds that a business’s hygiene standards are very poor and there is an imminent risk to health—this means food is not safe to eat–the officer must take action to ensure that consumers are protected. This could mean prohibiting part of an operation or closing the business down.
If a takeaway or other food business has been given a rating, you can search for it on food.gov.uk/ratings|.
When you eat out or shop for food, you might see a sticker in the window or on the door, or a certificate on display, showing you the hygiene rating for that business. Businesses are encouraged to display these stickers and certificates in a place where you can easily see them when you visit.
These stickers and certificates will also show the date the hygiene standards were inspected by the local authority’s food safety officer.
If you don’t see the rating at a takeaway or other food business, you can ask a member of staff if the business is in the scheme and what rating was given at the last inspection.
No, so if you see a business without a hygiene rating sticker or certificate, you’ll have to decide if you want to eat or buy food from there without knowing the hygiene standards.
Putting a hygiene rating on show is a good advertisement for businesses that meet the requirements of food hygiene law.
A good food hygiene rating is good for business.
If a new business has been set up, or there is a new owner, it will not have a food hygiene rating to begin with but it may display a sticker or certificate that says ‘awaiting inspection’. A rating will be given after a local authority food safety officer has inspected the business to check the hygiene standards.
The owner or manager of the business should talk to the officer that inspected the business about why the rating was given.
If the business owner or manager still thinks that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing. This means they can fill in a form that they can get from their local authority and sent it to them within 14 days (this includes weekends and public holidays) of being told what their rating is. You can download an appeal form here or from www.food.gov.uk/ratings| and send either by email to firstname.lastname@example.org| or post it to Environmental Health and Consumer Services, E4 Town Hall St Stephen’s Road Bournemouth BH2 6LL.
The owner or manager of the business also has a ‘right to reply’.This is different from an appeal. The owner or manager can fill in a form that they can get from their local authority to tell them how the business has improved hygiene or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. A business’s right to reply will be published online by the local authority with the business’s hygiene rating.
Yes, but only if the improvements to hygiene that the local authority food safety officer told the business about at the last inspection have been made.
The owner or manager of the food business can only ask the local authority once for another inspection to be carried out before the date of the next planned inspection.
If you are a food business operator and you wish to request an inspection then you can make a request for a re-rating. However it should be noted that the inspection will not be carried out until at least three months have passed since the original inspection. These three months are called the ‘stand still’ period. Once the ‘stand still’ period has passed we are required to undertake the re-inspection you have requested within three months. This means it could take up to six months to re-inspect. We will require you to submit a re-inspection form and evidence to support your request.
You can download a re-inspection request below and send it by email to email@example.com| or post it to Environmental Health and Consumer Services, E4 Town Hall St Stephen’s Road Bournemouth BH2 6LL.
Contact us on 01202 454876 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org|
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