What are the requirements of the Statutory Scheme?
All food businesses that receive a food hygiene rating after 28th November 2013 are under a legal duty to display their food hygiene rating, once the appeal period has passed or, if they have made an appeal, after the appeal has been determined.
The location of the sticker/s must be so that they can be easily read by customers. Businesses must display their rating at all entrances which the public may use to enter the premises.
Employees working in food businesses must be aware of the business's rating and must verbally inform a person of the rating if requested.
The food hygiene rating will also appear at the FSA food hygiene ratings website.
What does the Food Hygiene Rating mean?
When food businesses are inspected by Local Authority officers they already score food businesses levels of compliance against three criteria for the purposes of determining the frequency of inspection.
These criteria are defined in Annex 5 of the Food Law Code of Practice (Wales) and are:
- The level of (current) compliance with food hygiene and safety procedures (including food handling practices and procedures, and temperature control)
- The level of (current) compliance with structural requirements (including cleanliness, layout, condition of structure, lighting, ventilation, facilities etc.)
- The confidence in management/control procedures
Each element is numerically scored against the relevant criteria on the basis of guidance given in the Code. The lower the score received, the higher the level of compliance noted.
These numerical scores are then 'mapped' to the relevant tier of the food hygiene rating Scheme. This is illustrated below.
|Annex 5 scores ||0-15||20||25-30||35-40||45-50||>50|
|Additional scoring factor ||No score >5||No score >10||No score >10||No score >15||No score >20||-|
|Food hygiene rating ||5||4||3||2||1||0|
Are all food businesses covered by the law requiring the display of food hygiene ratings?
The majority of food businesses that sell food to the final consumer are included in the scheme and from November 2014 it is intended that all food manufacturers will also be included. There are however certain categories of food businesses that provide food to the final consumer that are not included in the scheme and hence will not get a food hygiene rating.
The categories of food businesses that are exempt from the scheme are;
- Premises where the sale of food is not the primary activity of the business and which handle only low risk foods (i,e, those that are shelf stable at ambient temperatures, are wrapped or packaged before entering the business, and remain wrapped at all times until it is supplied to consumers) such as:
- visitor centres and similar establishments selling tins of biscuits or other wrapped goods amongst a range of other goods
- leisure centres with only food vending machines selling only drinks or low-risk foods
- newsagents selling pre-packed confectionery; and
- chemist shops selling pre-packed confectionery and/or health foods
- Certain domestic premises which are used as a private dwelling and also for caring services such as childminders or placements for adult care. Although the rating scheme does not apply to these businesses, they are still required to comply with food safety legislation. Home caterers are however included in the scheme
When my business is rated, what will I receive?
When a rating is awarded the food business must be given:
- written notification of their rating
- a written statement of the reasons for the rating, including where the business has not achieved a 5, details of the action necessary for the business to undertake before a 5 can be awarded
- an adequate number of rating stickers so that the business can display their rating at all entrances which the public may use to enter the premises; and
- details on rights of appeal, requesting a re-score (including the cost), the right to reply, and when and how the rating will be published
I am a Food Business Operator. Can I Appeal against my rating?
Under the legislation the food business operator can appeal within 21 days of receipt of their rating, on one or both of the following grounds:
- that the rating does not properly reflect the food hygiene standards at the time of the inspection
- that the rating criteria were not applied correctly when producing the food hygiene rating
Appeals must be made on the form prescribed in the legislation, which can be obtained by contacting the food safety section or can be downloaded from the downloads section of this webpage.
Once received Ceredigion County Council has 21 days to determine an appeal. You will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal.
Can I request a further visit to re-rate the premises?
Under the legislation the food business operator can use the form prescribed in the legislation to request a further inspection to re-rate the business if:
- any appeal against the rating has been determined
- the operator has notified the local authority of improvements made to hygiene standards at the food premises
- the local authority considers it reasonable to inspect in view of the improvements said to have been undertaken
- the current hygiene rating sticker is displayed
- the food business operator has agreed to give access to the inspecting officer; and
- the food business operator has paid the cost of the re-rating. This cost has been set nationally at £180. No visit to re-rate the business will be undertaken until the fee has been paid
The prescribed form to make a request to re-rate the business is provided in the downloads section of this webpage. Alternatively the form can be obtained by contacting Ceredigion county Council using the contact details at the bottom of this page.
Where a request is made for a further visit to re-rate the premises, and the above criteria are met, the visit will take place within three months of receipt of the request.
Do I have a Right to Reply?
You have a 'right to reply' to your rating which will be published on the Food Standards Agency website alongside your rating. This will enable you to give an explanation of subsequent actions that have been taken to rectify non-compliances, or mitigation for the circumstances at the time of the inspection, rather than to complain or criticise the scheme or inspecting officer'.
You may send comments electronically or in writing to this Department using the form in the downloads section of this webpage.
What happens of the food business fails to comply with any of the requirements under the scheme?
If a business that has a rating under the statutory scheme and they:
- fail to display a valid food hygiene rating sticker
- display an invalid food hygiene rating sticker
- fail to retain a valid food hygiene rating sticker
- part with possession of a food hygiene rating to a person other than an authorised food safety officer
- deny a request from a person to advised of the premises' food hygiene rating verbally
- provide misleading information about the premises' food hygiene rating when requested to provide the rating verbally
- defaces, alters or tampers with a food hygiene rating sticker
they will be committing an offence under the legislation.
Persons who commit offences under the legislation may be subject to a Fixed Penalty Notice issued by authorised officers of the local authority.
Fixed penalty notices give the person the opportunity to pay a penalty of £200 within 28 days (reduced to £150 if paid within 14 days of issue).
Persons who have committed offences under the legislation, or obstruct an authorised officer may be prosecuted.