About the National Food Hygiene Rating

About the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

The food hygiene scheme will help you choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, and other places that supply food to the public. Supermarkets and other food shops are also included in the scheme.

We run the scheme in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.

Each business is given a hygiene rating when it is inspected by an Environmental Health Officer. The hygiene rating shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

When you eat out or shop for food, you might see a sticker in the window or on the door, or a certificate on display, showing you the hygiene rating for that business. Businesses are encouraged to display these stickers and certificates at their premises in a place where you can easily see them when you visit.

If you're planning to eat out or buy food in Epsom and Ewell you can search the Food Standards Agency website for the hygiene ratings of businesses.

The ratings

The Environmental Health Officer inspecting a business checks how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:

  • 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.

At the end of the inspection, the business is given one of the six ratings. The top rating of 5 means that the business was found to have very good hygiene standards. Any business should be able to reach this top rating.

The Environmental Health Officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements are needed and how they can achieve the top rating of 5. We will check that these improvements are made.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been designed to make sure that the ratings given to businesses are fair.