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Food hygiene rating scheme

Food safety rating

How does the rating system work?

Following an inspection by a food safety officer, a food business is given a rating from 1 to 5 based on how safe and hygienic its practices are.

  • 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.

Find out more at FOOD.GOV.UK.


If the business owner or manager feels that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal within 14 days of the rating being given. Complete Details of your appeal (doc 1,328KB) and upload the document when you send us your appeal.

Right to reply

The owner or manager of the business also has a right to reply. This is different from an appeal. You can tell us how the business has improved hygiene, or if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. Complete your Right to reply (doc 1,329KB) and upload the document when you send us your right to reply.

Request a re-visit

The owner of a business can ask us to re-visit to get a new rating but only if the improvements to hygiene that the food safety officer told the business about at the last inspection have been made. There is also a £160 charge for a re-visit. There is no limit to how many times you can ask for a re-visit. Complete Details of your request (doc 1,330KB) and upload the document when you request a re-visit. A cheque for £160 made payable to "Medway Council" must be sent to Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR. Please write "Food Hygiene Rating Scheme: Request for a re-visit" and your business name and address on the back of the cheque.