Food Hygiene Rating Scheme turns 5

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Environmental health, Food safety, Health, Local business, Media, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council

On 30 November 2015 the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) will be 5 years old and Epping Forest District Council is proud to be part of it.

More and more customers are making an informed choice about where they eat so we are encouraging all businesses in the district to display their rating. Food businesses work hard to achieve a good rating and it’s something to be proud of.

FHRS infographic

We want to

  • give consumers information about hygiene standards in food outlets so that they can make informed choices
  • drive up hygiene standards in food businesses
  • reduce the incidence of foodborne illness (this is estimated at around 500,000 cases annually from the main causes of foodborne illness – including all types of food borne disease could double this figure to nearer 1 million cases a year)

6 hygiene ratings

The scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, takeaways, cafés, pubs, hotels, schools, hospitals, care homes, supermarkets and other retailers.

There are 6 hygiene ratings ranging from ‘0’ (urgent improvement required) at the bottom to ‘5’ (very good) at the top. Around 93% of food businesses are rated a 3 or better so there are plenty of places you can choose with good standards and easily avoid taking your family and friends to those not meeting the grade.

The scheme is designed so that all businesses, no matter how small can achieve the top rating by meeting the legal requirements and any improvements needed to get a higher rating are no more than is required by the law. We’ve seen standards improve. Now more and more businesses are able to show their customers that they take food hygiene seriously.

Look before you book

Look before you book and check the rating at, by using the mobile app or looking for the green and black stickers which should be displayed at the premises.

Frequently asked questions and answers can be found at