Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Breckland Council was one of the first local authorities in the country to launch the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme to promote high performing food businesses and enable consumers to make informed choices about where they buy and eat food.


Food Hygiene Rating Scheme


What is the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?

The National Food Hygiene Rating 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 where food is eaten. Supermarkets and other food shops are also included in the scheme.

The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.

Each food business is given a ‘hygiene rating’ when it is inspected by a food safety officer from Breckland Council. 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.

How are the ratings worked out?

Food businesses in Breckland are regularly inspected to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safely.

After each planned inspection, the food business is awarded an overall number rating, from zero (the worst) to 5 (the best), based on food safety standards found at the time of the inspection.   This takes into consideration compliance with three areas of food law:

• Food Hygiene - how hygienically the food is handled, prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored.

• Structure and cleanliness - the condition of the structure of the buildings, its cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.

• Confidence in management - how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standards of service provided to customers.

You can view the food hygiene rating for any food business in Breckland via the national food hygiene rating website at: or for all current UK registered premises please select

More about hygiene ratings

At the end of the inspection, the business is issued a certificate and sticker indicating one of the following hygiene ratings.  The below label shows that the premises will have been awarded a rating of 3.




The top rating of ‘5’ means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. All food business should be able to reach this top rating.

The food safety 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’. This will be reviewed at the next inspection.

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

What does it means for consumers?

The scheme is designed to protect consumers, by showing them the hygiene standards of the businesses where they buy or eat food.

Good food premises will be proud to display their rating, whilst poor premises will be unable to hide because their details will be available on the website.

What does it means for businesses?

Good businesses have nothing to fear – in fact, just the opposite as their customers will now be told about their good hygiene standards.

Proprietors of poor premises will continue to be offered advice and guidance to help them improve.  They can expect formal action from Food Safety Officers where they fail to make the necessary improvements, or pose a risk to the health of the public.

This scheme will replace the Good Hygiene Award scheme which has recognised the good work of the best performers in the district.

Getting more information

Further details about the scheme can be found by following the link to the Food Standards Agency website, at

The FSA are also available from 6am to 6pm on their Help Desk telephone number 020 7276 8282

You can contact them by email:

Alternatively, you can contact the Food and Health & Safety Team at Breckland Council on 01362 656870 or by e-mail at foodandhealth&