Hygiene rating scheme goes liveThe national hygiene rating scheme is launched

06 December 2010

The Food Standard Agency's hygiene scheme goes live

A couple eating in a restaurant

Fine dining in London will cost you

Catering establishments inspected

Before you book a table or a restaurant or order that takeaway, see what rating it gets on the new food hygiene scheme at www.food.gov.uk/ratings. This brings together food hygiene ratings from catering establishments across the UK.

The scheme covers everything from restaurants and corner shops to pubs, but the consistent national scheme has only been adopted by a small portion of the 400+ local authorities so far. The limited number of authorities taking part are 'early adopters', and the FSA has assured us that more will be added in the coming months.

Which? Chief policy advisor, Sue Davies, said: 'It's great to finally get a national scheme. Not it's up to local authorities to adopt it.'

How it works

The hygiene ratings are shown on a numerical scale - 5 indicates high hygiene standards and 0 the need for urgent improvement. It covers any establishment where you can eat out, including restaurants takeaways, cafés, sandwich shops, pubs, and hotels. Ratings are also given to schools, hospitals and residential care homes.

The ratings are established by inspections carried out by food safety officer, with the frequency of inspections depending on the potential risk to people's health. There is a slightly different scheme in place in Scotland. 

A full explanation of the various schemes can be found here

Home cooking

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