What is the food hygiene rating scheme?

banner for the food hygiene rating scheme

To help you choose where to eat out or shop for food, Cheltenham Borough Council runs the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in partnership with the Food Standards Agency. The scheme gives you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels, and other places you eat out, as well as supermarkets and other food shops at the time they are inspected by officers from the council's food team.  

Why is the scheme important?

Telling consumers about hygiene standards in food outlets gives them greater choice.  It also recognises those businesses with the highest standards and encourages others to improve.  The overall aim is to reduce the number of cases of food poisoning which currently affects about one million people in the UK every year.

Which businesses are given a rating?

Restaurants, takeaways, cafés, sandwich shops, pubs, hotels, supermarkets and other retail food outlets, as well as other businesses where consumers can eat or buy food, will be given a hygiene rating as part of the scheme.

How is the rating calculated?

Each business is given a rating following an inspection by an officer from the food safety team.  This is based on how well the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law at that time. In particular:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
  • the condition of the structure of the premises – cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • how food safety is managed and documented – using a system such as Safer food, better business

The rating reflects the conditions found at the time of the last inspection and does not reflect the quality of food or the standards of service the business provides.