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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

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 What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme? 

The food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps you choose where to eat out or buy food by giving you easy to understand information about the hygiene standards in the business.

The scheme is run by local authorities in England, in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.

The scheme was launched in Bedford on the 8th June 2011 during National Food Safety Week.


Which Businesses are given a rating?

Restaurants, takeaways, cafes, sandwich shops, pubs, hotels and supermarkets are given a rating.  Other, lower risk food businesses will be brought into the scheme at a later date.


How are the ratings calculated?

Officers are required to inspect local food businesses to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safely.  After the premises has been inspected, officers give a rating which ranges from zero (worst) to five (best).  The rating is based on food safety standards found at the time of the inspection.  There are three areas that officers assess:


  1. How hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored;
  2. The condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting ventilation and other facilities;
  3. How the businesses manages what it does to make sure food is safe.


The rating given to the business does not reflect the quality of the food or the standard of service provided to customers.


What do the ratings mean?


A score of 5 means that the conditions are very good FHRS Rating





A score of 4 means that the conditions are good

FHRS Rating 4





A score of 3 means that the conditions are generally satisfactory

FHRS Rating3





A score of 2 means that improvement is necessary

FHRS Rating2





A score of 1 means that major improvement is necessary

FHRS Rating1





A score of 0 means that urgent improvement is necessary

FHRS Rating0





How do I look up the rating of a food business in Bedford?

Ratings for food businesses inspected in the Bedford Borough Council area are available on the Food Standards agency website


Where can I find out more information about the scheme?

Further information is available from the Food Standards Agency  


I have been inspected and have carried out the improvements to hygiene that were required, can I request a re-inspection?

You can ask for a re-inspection before your next planned inspection so that the hygiene standards in your premises can be re-assessed.  The inspecting officer will look at hygiene standards generally - not just the specific areas you have been working to improve – so your hygiene rating may go down as well as up.  You can make a request for a re-inspection by downloading the Re-inspection Request Application Form


I am the owner of a food business and think the rating I have been given is unfair or wrong

If you believe your rating is unfair or wrong, you should speak to the inspecting officer so they can explain how your rating was calculated.


If you still believe that your rating is unfair or wrong, you have a ‘right to reply’.  You will need to tell the Council how the business has improved hygiene, or to say that there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection.  The business will need to download the Right to Reply Form and send the completed form to the Commercial Regulation Manager, Environmental Health and Trading Standards, Bedford Borough Council, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP.  The businesses right to reply will be published on-line with the businesses hygiene rating.


The business owner or manager can also appeal in writing.  To appeal, any business can download the Appeal Form and send it to the Commercial Regulation Manager, Environmental Health and Trading Standards, Bedford Borough Council, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford MK42 9AP within 14 days of being told what their rating is.


Download FHRS Procedures for Re-inspection 

Download FHRS Right to Reply and Appeals Procedure 

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