Food hygiene ratings for businesses

Guidance for businesses on the food hygiene rating scheme, making an appeal, publishing a response to a hygiene rating and requesting a re-inspection
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Find out what the food hygiene rating scheme is

Achieving a higher rating

All businesses should be able to achieve the top rating of 5. If they do not, the food safety officer will outline the improvements that they need to make, and advice on how to achieve a higher rating.

We provide business guidance to help manage food hygiene and helpful information about food law inspections.

Address details for a business are wrong

If you are the owner or manager of a food business and the name or address details shown on our food hygiene ratings service are wrong, you should contact the local authority that gave you the rating and ask for the necessary changes to be made.

Find your local authority food safety team.


Businesses can request an appeal, have a ‘right to reply’ and can request a re-visit inspection from their local authority.


Before making an appeal, business owners or managers should contact the local authority food safety officer first to understand 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 to their local authority. Details on how to do this are included in the notification of rating letter sent to the business.

Business’s right to reply

The right to reply allows the business to tell customers how the business has improved its hygiene standards or if there were unusual circumstances at the time of inspection. This response will be published online, alongside the rating, by the local authority.

Request for a re-visit inspection

The business owner/manager can request a re-visit to get a new rating when all the necessary hygiene improvements have been made. Some local authorities in England charge a fee to recover the costs of carrying out a revisit inspection.  In Wales and Northern Ireland all local authorities charge a fee to recover costs for the re-visit under their statutory schemes.

Brand standard

The Brand Standard ensures there is consistency in implementation and operation of the scheme by local authorities. It provides local authorities in England with advice and guidance on all aspects of implementation and operation of the scheme.

The aim is to ensure that where food business establishments are rated under the scheme and where consumers see scheme branding, they can be confident that the local authority is operating the scheme as we intend.

Making the most of your rating

We provide a food hygiene rating scheme toolkit for businesses which gives you ideas and inspiration on how to publicise your food hygiene rating online and offline.