Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
A new Food Hygiene Rating Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 has came into force which means that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is now mandatory, replacing the voluntary scheme run since the end of 2011 by District Councils and the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) developed by the FSA, in partnership with District Councils, helps consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food, by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways and food shops.
The Scheme provides information via the rating about hygiene standards in food premises at the time the premises are inspected by Environmental Health Officers to check compliance with legal requirements. The FHRS rates food outlets on a scale ranging from ‘0’ (meaning urgent improvement necessary) to a top rating of 5 (excellent).
Display your Sticker
The legislation makes it a legal requirement for food businesses, which have received a statutory food hygiene rating, to display a sticker relating to that rating at or near each public entrance into their establishment, where it can be readily seen and easily read by customers before they enter. No matter what the rating of the food business, they will have to, by law, display the rating sticker given by the District Council following inspection.
It is an offence not to display the statutory Food Hygiene Rating sticker after you have received notification and the period of 21 days within which you can appeal the rating has expired. It is also an offence if you or any of your staff fail to inform anyone of your hygiene rating, when requested to do so.
In order to ensure that the Scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards. These are:
- An Appeal procedure
- A ‘right to reply’
- An opportunity to request a re-visit when improvements have been made, in order to be re-assessed for a ‘new’ rating.
Further information or additional stickers, if required, can be obtained by contacting the Food Safety Team of the Council at 0300 303 1777 or by clicking Get in Touch
The FSA has information on the scheme and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ available on it’s website https://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/hygieneratings