Food safety

Eating out? Getting food in? Check the food hygiene rating

food hygiene rating

To help you choose where to eat out or shop for food we are running the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

The scheme will give you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels, and other places you eat out, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?

The scheme is being run by Camden in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (the central Government Department with responsibility for food safety). Like the Scores on the Doors Scheme, it will help you choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you information about the hygiene standards in food premises at the time they are inspected by one of our food safety officers to check that they are meeting legal requirements on food hygiene.

Why is the scheme important?

Telling consumers about hygiene standards in food outlets gives them greater choice. It also recognises those businesses with the highest standards and encourages others to improve.  The overall aim is to reduce the number of cases of food poisoning which currently affects about one million people in the UK every year. 

Why is Camden switching from the Scores on the Doors scheme to the Food Hygiene Rating scheme?

Having a national scheme in place will help residents and visitors to make informed choices about where to eat out or shop for food not just within Camden but also further afield.

It will also help ensure that businesses are treated fairly and consistently with local competitors and with their competitors more widely.

Which businesses are given a rating?

Restaurants, takeaways, cafés, sandwich shops, pubs, hotels, supermarkets and other retail food outlets, as well as other businesses where consumers can eat or buy food, will be given a hygiene rating as part of the scheme.

How is the rating calculated?

Each business is given a rating following an inspection by a food safety officer.  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 food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
  • the condition of the structure of the premises – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • how food safety is managed and documented – using a system such as Safer food, better business or Safe Catering
The rating reflects the conditions found at the time of the last inspection and does not reflect the quality of food or the standards of service the business provides.

What are the different ratings?         

  • very good
  • good
  • generally satisfactory
  • improvement necessary
  • major improvement necessary
  • urgent improvement necessary

All businesses should be able achieve the top rating of 5.  

Where a business does not achieve the top rating, the food safety officer will explain to the person that owns or manages the business what improvements are needed.  

Business owners and managers can find out more about what they need to do to achieve the highest rating

Where will the food hygiene rating be displayed?

You can search for ratings for local businesses and anywhere else the scheme is being operated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Businesses are also given a window sticker and certificate showing their rating and are encouraged to display these at their premises in places where you can easily see them when you visit.  Display is voluntary at the moment.

Where can I get further information?

You can read about the scheme on the FSA’s website and Regulator's Code

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