Scores on the Doors
Food Hygiene Ratings

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay to access the system?

We provide the information free-of-charge to the Public.

Corporate clients and SME's can purchase access to a wider range of performance management data. Contact sales (at) transparencydata.co.uk for more details.

How up to date is the information?

As up to date as it can be - we upload it every night from the central database.

Please note that it typically takes between 2 - 4 weeks from the date of the inspection for the council to process the information and notify the proprietor before they upload it to the central database.

What if the food business I am interested in is not listed?

All registered food businesses in the UK are listed here.

In general - if it's not on here - it is not registered.

Any organisation providing food to the consumer is required to specifically register with their local authority. Only once this has been undertaken can the LA schedule an inspection.

However, it may be that the Food Business has registered recently, and/or their details have not been uploaded yet. Local Authorities should flag these businesses as 'Awaiting Inspection' and are required to inspect within 6 months of receiving registration details.

In exceptional cases, your local council might decide to withhold details from the site. This might happen, for example, if there was a prosecution case pending.

If in doubt, contact your local authority. Contact details here: https://bit.ly/2ME3XsG

How does the search mechanism work?

You can enter as much or as little information (including none for a full search) into the search boxes as you like. The more information you enter, the more targeted the search. The less you enter, the more results you should get back.

What if I am a food business and I think the details being displayed are incorrect?

If you are concerned about the rating you have been given, or details about your name and address are incorrect, then contact your local authority as they are responsible for the collection and accuracy of the data.

Please note: We cannot deal with issues regarding incorrect ratings. Our email address: support (AT) scoresonthedoors.org.uk.

Who carries out the inspections and how often?

Local authorities are responsible for carrying out inspections of food businesses to check that they meet the requirements of food hygiene law. Depending on what they find, they may come back in 6 months or up to 3 years.

Not all businesses are given a rating. Some businesses such as a chemist selling sweets are considered low risk and therefore are not included in the scheme. These businesses are classified ‘Exempt’

Which food businesses are listed?

All UK food businesses are listed here. If they are not on here they are either unregistered or have only recently registered and are awaiting their first inspection. Local authorities are obliged to carry out the first inspection within 6 months of registration.

What if I see a business displaying a sticker with a different rating to that on this site?

Check the date on the back. If it is recent then the local authority may not have got around to updating the website. Typically this can take 2-4 weeks; exceptionally up to 6 weeks.

If the date on the back of the sticker is older than the information being displayed here, then the sticker is incorrect and it should not be displayed. Proprietors can be heavily fined for displaying misleading stickers.

If this is the case, then the trading standards department at your local authority will be interested to hear from you. You can contact them here: https://bit.ly/2ME3XsG

Where is my certificate?

Local councils are no longer obliged to provide certificates, however they are required to provide stickers. In Wales and in Northern Ireland it is compulsory to display them.

England has started the process of preparing similar legislation.

What schemes are there?

The Food Standards Agency manages the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in England, Wales & N. Ireland.

Food Standards Scotland manages Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) in Scotland.

Where does this information come from?

The information is uploaded by Councils following their programmed Food Hygiene Inspections. The statutory appeal period is 2 weeks. Although councils should update the National database every 2 weeks, in practice it can take up to 6 weeks from the date of an inspection until it is published.

Transparencydata updates our website every night from the Central database, so we are never more than 24 hours behind. Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided by Local Authorities.

If you believe a rating is wrong, please wait 24 hours and check it again. If you still believe the information is incorrect in any way, please contact the relevant Environmental Health department. A link to their contact details is included on every premises results page.

How is the rating calculated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland?


A food safety officer from the local authority where the business is located inspects a business to check that it meets the requirements of food hygiene law. The officer will check:

* how hygienically the food is handled ? how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored

* the condition of the structure of the buildings ? the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities

* how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe

The hygiene standards are then rated on a scale of 0 - 5 where 5 is highest.

Are there other categories?

Yes - there are other ratings where one of the above ratings is not appropriate. These are:

Awaiting Inspection
This is normally for new businesses or where there is a new owner. They will be awaiting a food hygiene inspection and rating. They may display a sticker or certificate that says 'Awaiting Inspection'.

Exempt
Two types of food business are not given a food hygiene rating. These are (1) businesses that are low risk in terms of a food safety risk to public health or (2) child minders and businesses who carry out caring services at home.

How are the scores calculated?

The scores are calculated based upon the National Code of practice. The three scores achieved by the component scores are mapped onto an overall FHRS rating.

You can download the full Brand Guidance document which explains the detailed calculations here: https://www.food.gov.uk/about-us/food-and-feed-codes-of-practice





What are the component scores?

As well as the overall rating, you will see that for most businesses these are broken down further into the three components:

Structural compliance

The structure of the establishment (including cleanliness, layout, condition of structure, lighting, ventilation, facilities etc.) is rated as follows:

Very Good = High standard of compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice; conforms to accepted good practices in the trade.
Good = High standard of compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice, minor contraventions of food hygiene regulations. Some minor non-compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice.
Fair = Some non-compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice. The premises are in the top 50 per cent of premises and standards are being maintained or improved.
Poor = Some major non-compliance with statutory obligations ? more effort required to prevent fall in standards.
Bad = General failure to satisfy statutory obligations ? standards generally low.
Very Bad = Almost total non-compliance with statutory obligations.

Food Hygiene and Safety

The food hygiene and safety procedures (including food handling practices and procedures, and temperature control), and, are assessed using the scoring system below:

Very Good = High standard of compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice; conforms to accepted good practices in the trade.
Good = High standard of compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice, minor contraventions of food hygiene regulations. Some minor non-compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice.
Fair = Some non-compliance with statutory obligations and industry codes of recommended practice. The premises are in the top 50 per cent of premises and standards are being maintained or improved.
Poor = Some major non-compliance with statutory obligations ? more effort required to prevent fall in standards.
Bad = General failure to satisfy statutory obligations ? standards generally low.

Confidence in Management

The actual performance of management is scored in on the basis of the results achieved and observed. A management that achieves good food hygiene performance, well understood by the workforce, should have achieved a good score. Confidence in management is not meant to reconsider this aspect. It is to elicit a judgement on the likelihood of satisfactory compliance being maintained in the future. Factors that will influence the inspector's judgement include:

- the "track record" of the company, its willingness to act on previous advice and enforcement, and the complaint history;
- the attitude of the present management towards hygiene and food safety; and
- hygiene and food safety technical knowledge available to the company (internal or external), including hazard analysis/HACCP and the control of critical points;
- satisfactory HACCP based procedures.

The meanings of the scores are as follows:

High = Good record of compliance. Access to technical advice within organisation. Will have satisfactory documented HACCP based food safety management system which may be subject to external audit process. Audit by Food Authority confirms compliance with documented management system with few/minor non-conformities not identified in the system as critical control points.
Good = Reasonable record of compliance. Technical advice available in-house or access to and use of technical advice from trade associations. Have satisfactory documented procedures and systems. Able to demonstrate effective control of hazards. Will have satisfactory documented food safety management system. Audit by Food Authority confirms general compliance with documented system.
Some = Satisfactory record of compliance. Access to and use of technical advice either in-house or from trade associations. May have satisfactory documented food safety management system.
Little = Varying record of compliance. Poor appreciation of hazards and control measures. No food safety management system.
No confidence = Poor track record of compliance. Little or no technical knowledge.
Little or no appreciation of hazards or quality control. No food
safety management system.

How is the rating calculated in Scotland?

All Scottish local authorities are part of the Food Hygiene Information System (FHIS).

Local authority enforcement officers are responsible for inspecting food businesses to check that they meet the requirements of food hygiene law. These include the hygiene conditions and the management procedures in place for providing safe food.

What ratings are there?

The food hygiene inspection result reflects the hygiene standards found at the time of inspection by an enforcement officer from the business?s local authority. The ratings are:

- Pass and Eat Safe
- Pass
- Improvement Required

The Eat Safe scheme is separate to the Food Hygiene Information Scheme but compatible with it. Food businesses can apply and, if their hygiene standards are better than those required by law, they will receive the award.

Are there other categories?

Yes - there are other ratings where one of the above ratings is not appropriate. These are:

Awaiting Inspection
This is normally for new businesses or where there is a new owner. They will be awaiting a food hygiene inspection and rating. They may display a sticker or certificate that says ?Awaiting Inspection?.

Exempt
Two types of food business are not given a food hygiene rating. These are (1) businesses that are low risk in terms of a food safety risk to public health or (2) child minders and businesses who carry out caring services at home.

Can I get the full inspection report?

Yes. You can make a Freedom of Information request to the local authority that carried out the inspection. You can find the local authority's contact details by looking on the details page for that business.

What if an owner or manager thinks the rating was unfair or wrong?

Owners have two weeks after the inspection to appeal.

If the required improvements from the last inspection have been made, owners can ask for a re-visit. Typically it takes 3-6 months for a revisit and some local authorities will charge for this service. A list of charges can be found on the local authority's web site and we will shortly summarise them here.

Who publishes Scores on the Doors?

This service is provided by Transparencydata based on information published by Local Authorities. If you have any queries with the content of the information displayed, you should contact the Local Authority.

If you are interested in receiving reports or a more in-depth analysis of the information published here, then ask us about our compliance management services by emailing us here: sales (at) transparencydata.co.uk.

Can I download reports in Excel format?

Yes.

1. For SME's we offer a regular reporting service. You can receive quarterly reports comparing your performance with up to 6 of your major competitors.

2. For corporate clients, organisations such as JD Wetherspoon, KFC, Domino's, Tesco and Greene King use our compliance management SaaS reporting system .A comprehensive range of portfolio management, alerting and reporting services are provided, together with custom and standard reporting.

For more information about licencing these services, please contact sales ( at ) transparencydata.co.uk

Can I get alerted when a food business gets a new inspection?

Yes.

Our Android and iOS apps have facilities to enable you to set up favourites and receive an alert whenever a new inspection is published. Click on footer below to download free version.

Android: Food Hygiene - Scores on the Doors
http://bit.ly/2McAgjm

iOS: Food Hygiene - Scores on the Doors
https://apple.co/2MF7zul