National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

What is the Scheme?

The National Food Hygiene Rating scheme is intended to help customers choose where to eat out or shop for food. It does this by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, and other places where food is eaten, or sold. 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 each business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.

The food safety officer will issue a ratings sticker which the food business may display in the window or on the door, showing the hygiene rating for that business. Although not legally required to display their rating, they are encouraged to do so for the information of customers. Regardless of whether the business displays their sticker, this information can be found on theFood Standards Agency website.


Right to reply

If you agree with the rating, but feel that there were special circumstances at that time that affected your rating you may ask for a 'Right to Reply' message to be attached to your record on the national website.

This lets you explain to your customers any actions you have taken to improve hygiene standards at your premises since your inspection, or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection that might have affected your rating.

It is not an opportunity to complain or criticise the food hygiene rating scheme or your food safety officer.

What should I do if I want to use my 'right to reply'?

You shouldsend your comments by completing our online form.

How long do I have to submit my comments?

There is no deadline for this so you can submit your 'right to reply' at any time up until your next inspection when you will get a new food hygiene rating.

What happens next?

We may edit your comments in order to remove any offensive, defamatory, clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks. Other than that, what you say in your 'right to reply' will then be published online together with your hygiene rating. The 'right to reply' will remain on the website until you are given a new rating.


Check, appeal, or improve your rating

Check your rating online

Full details of all ratings in Breckland can be viewed on theFSA website.

Request a revisit

You can​​​​​​​request a re-scoring inspection using our online form. You will need:

  • The date of the original inspection and the rating given.
  • Details of the improvements that you've made since the original rating.

A food business may apply for a re-scoring re-inspection as many times as it wants. 

A fee of £196 will be payable for each request (payable by credit/debit card and cheque).

It is important to remember that a rating can go down as well as up during a re scoring re-inspection if prevailing conditions have not improved, or deteriorated.

Appeal your rating

You canappeal your rating using our online form. You will need:

  • The date of your inspection. 
  • The date you were notified of your rating.
  • The rating you were given.
  • The reason you consider the rating to be incorrect or unfair.

You will be notified of the result of the appeal within a maximum of 21 days from the date that the appeal was received by your local authority. Once you have been notified of the result of your appeal, your rating will be published online atFood Standards Agency - Ratings.

If you still disagree with the result, you can challenge the local authority's decision by judicial review. If you think that officers have not followed processes properly, you can use the council's complaints procedure (including taking the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman where appropriate).Make a complaint on the Local Government Ombudsman website.

Improve your rating

The Food Standards Agency provides a toolkit to help businesses improve their food hygiene rating. Details are available on the FSA website.


Last updated: 01/03/2022 13:36:09