The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme provides consumers with information on the hygiene standards of any business selling or serving food. Types of these businesses include restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs, hotels, schools, hospitals and supermarkets. The scheme is run by the Food Standards Agency and local authorities are responsible for carrying out inspections.
The Local Government Association is calling for England to follow Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland’s lead in making it compulsory for food businesses to display their Food Hygiene Rating Score. Currently in England, businesses have the option to not display their scores on premise, in their restaurant window for example. But all scores can be accessed online on the Food Standards Agency website.
During inspection, local authorities will focus on three aspects of your business:
• how hygienically the food is handled
• how food is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
• the condition and structure of the premises
To be awarded a food hygiene rating of 5, businesses need to perform well in all three categories.
If your business does not manage to achieve a 5 star rating, the inspector will inform you as to what areas need improvement before your next inspection. The regularity of inspections is determined by the severity of risk posed by the nature of the business. Food businesses dealing with high risk foods may be inspected more frequently than those handling low risk foods.
How to Achieve a 5 star Food Hygiene Rating
1. Handle food hygienically
• Encourage high standards of personal hygiene – where appropriate PPE, minimal jewellery, regularly hand wash.
• Implement appropriate control measures to prevent cross contamination i.e segregated areas, separate equipment for raw and cooked foods.
• Store foods appropriately i.e fridges maintained at -5ºC, foods properly cooked, cooled stored etc.
2. Provide a clean, hygienic and safe working environment
• Ensure that all aspects of your business premise allow for hygienic and safe handling of food.
• The premise needs to be structurally safe
• Adequate facilities need to be provided to improve hygiene levels
3. Food Safety Management
• Provide evidence that you have identified and show an understanding of the food safety hazards within the business
• Implement food safety procedures such as PPE, colour coded equipment, hygiene monitoring, temperature monitoring etc, to ensure that food is handled hygienically.
• Maintain training records to provide evidence that all staff have been trained on food safety and how to ensure the hygienic handling of food.
For advice on how your business can achieve a 5 star Food Hygiene Rating, talk to an expert on 08450 267 745 or submit an enquiry below.