It drives food safety and therefore a reduction in foodborne illness.
- Sandwich shops
- Pub bistros’ and hotels
- School canteens
- Childcare centres
Each business is given a rating following a routine inspection by a Council Environmental Health Surveyor. This is based on how well the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law at that time. In particular:
- How hygienically the food is handled – safe preparation, cooking, reheating, cooling and storage
- What condition the structure of the premises is in – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
- How the business manages what it does to make sure food is safe, so the officer can be confident standards will be maintained in the future
Each of these three elements is essential to ensure that hygiene and food safety standards meet the requirements and the food served or sold to you is safe to eat.
The score is for the conditions found at the time of the last routine inspection. The rating is not for the quality of food or the standard of service the business provides.
Business owners and managers can find out more about what they need to do to achieve the highest rating to the fact sheet ‘How to achieve a higher rating’.
Three possible ratings
The hygiene and food safety score reflects the standards found at the time the business is inspected by a council officer. These officers are specially trained to assess food standards. All businesses should be able to achieve the top rating of Excellent.
Excellent requires that businesses score well in each area of:
- Handling of food
- Condition of premises, and
- Management of process
Food premises awarded ‘no grade’ and not given a certificate are very likely to be performing poorly in all 3 elements. There may, for example, be insufficient cleaning and disinfection, and the system of management in place may not be good enough to make sure the food is safe. Council will take action to ensure the minimum standards are achieved, however the business will not be entitled to be rated against scores on doors until the next routine inspection.
Want to get the best score you can? Every business should be able to get the top score.
1. Do a self-check
Download the checklist used by the council inspection officers and see what you need to get right.
2. Common issues
Make sure you have addressed the five most common issues found by council officers.