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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) Audit of Display and Business Survey 2022: Technical report

FHRS Audit Technical report 2022: Introduction

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) was formally launched in November 2010. The scheme is designed to help consumers make more considered choices about where they purchase their food by providing clear information about the hygiene standards of food businesses at their last inspection by a food safety officer.

Last updated: 20 May 2024
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Last updated: 20 May 2024
See all updates

Under the scheme, places where food is supplied, sold or consumed are given a rating ranging from 0 to 5, with 5 standing for ‘very good’ food hygiene and 0 ‘urgent improvement necessary’. The ratings are determined by three elements: hygienic food handling; physical condition of the premises and facilities; and food safety management.  

The FSA has conducted research into the Display of Food Hygiene Ratings in England, Northern Ireland and Wales since 2011. The FSA has been tracking the proportion of food businesses that are displaying their FHRS since 2011. In 2021 the FSA first commissioned IFF to conduct an Audit of the FHRS display meaning that in 2022, IFF conducted their second wave of both the audit and survey research. 

As with previous waves of the research, the objectives were threefold: 

  • Provide a representative estimate of the display of food hygiene ratings by food businesses 
  • Explore the reasons and drivers for display and non-display  
  • Explore business awareness and attitudes towards the scheme 

A two-pronged research approach was adopted to meet these objectives:  

  1. a covert audit of 1,500 food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, conducted by Mystery Shopper, and 
  2. a telephone survey of 1,500 food businesses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, conducted by IFF Research. 

This paper outlines the methodological approach taken for both strands of the research, including sampling; feasibility testing; pilot and mainstage fieldwork; response rates; and weighting.  

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