In recent news, thousands of restaurants came under fire after an investigation into 250,000 businesses discovered 1 in 20 (13,000) restaurants were given a failing hygiene rating by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). A fail by the FSA is considered a rating of 2 or below.
- 0 – Urgent improvement necessary
- 1 – Major improvement necessary
- 2 – Some improvement necessary
Despite the failing rating, businesses are still allowed to operate. If a restaurant scores a three or below they are deemed to be failing against health standards and not complying with ‘broad safety standards’. However, the FSA will only close down a business if they are posing an imminent risk to health.
To achieve a high food hygiene rating, businesses must show they are able to meet standards in the three following areas:
- Food Hygiene
- Structural requirements
- Confidence in management
In each of these categories, businesses are scored from 0 to 25/30. The lower the better. Using these scores, a final rating between 0-5 is calculated.
Is it a legal requirement for a business to display their food hygiene rating?
A consumer should know the food hygiene rating of the restaurant they are about to dine in. However, unlike Wales and Northern Ireland, businesses in England and Scotland are not legally required to display their ratings.
In England and Scotland displaying food hygiene ratings is voluntary. However, research shows that awareness of food hygiene where displaying the rating is mandatory is generally higher than places where it is not. The transparency that comes with businesses being required to display is part of the solution to improve food hygiene ratings across food businesses.
Statistics show since it became a legal requirement to display hygiene ratings in Wales, the number of 5 rated restaurants has increased by 18%. This demonstrates that enforcing laws on displaying food hygiene ratings will improve the standard of food safety in restaurants, and also protect consumers.
Displaying a high food hygiene rating will also help business owners to increase business. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of food safety standards, with most consumers almost always choosing to eat in an establishment with a minimum of a 4. If the general public are relying on food hygiene ratings when choosing where to eat, it is in the business owners interest to achieve a high rating, whether it is displayed on the door or not.
What is your favourite restaurants rating? Have a look on the Food Standards Agency website by clicking here. If you have any questions about Food Safety please submit an enquiry below or contact us on 0845 026 7745. Read about how to improve your food hygiene rating here.