Ryedale District Council

Food safety inspections

The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a Food Standards Agency (FSA)/local authority partnership initiative to provide consumers with at-a-glance information about hygiene standards in food businesses found during planned inspections. The scheme will give you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat out, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

 food hygiene rating bannerFood Hygiene Rating Scheme

We launched the scheme on 2 April 2012 with the hygiene rating applied to inspections undertaken since 1 April 2010. This has enabled approximately 500 businesses to participate from day one.

What is the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?

The National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a Food Standards Agency (FSA)/local authority partnership initiative to provide consumers with at-a-glance information about hygiene standards in food businesses found during planned inspections. The scheme will give you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat out, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

Under the scheme, each food outlet may display rating information on their door or window. Rating information is also available from the Food Standards Agency where consumers can look up a food business rating online.

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.

The scheme is being introduced across England, Wales and Northern Ireland so it will help residents and visitors to make informed choices about where to eat out or shop for food not just within Ryedale but also further afield. This will also help ensure that businesses are treated fairly and consistently with local competitors and with their competitors more widely.

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What type of businesses are included in the scheme?

Most food businesses that supply food directly to the consumer are included in the scheme including restaurants, supermarkets, sandwich shops, cafes, takeaways, delicatessens, care homes, hotels and pubs.

Are there any exemptions?

Some businesses are not included, for example child minders as the business information includes personal details. These people will have the opportunity to opt into the scheme. Premises selling only low risk food are also exempted, as are manufacturers who do not supply food directly to the consumer. These businesses are still included in the Council's food hygiene inspection programme even though they may not be part of the rating scheme.

How is the rating calculated?

Each business is given a rating from 0 (the worst) to 5 (the best) following an inspection by a food safety officer. 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.

All businesses should be able to achieve the top rating of 5.

Where a business does not achieve the top rating, the food safety officer will explain to the person that owns or manages the business what improvements are needed.

We have produced a booklet which gives further information about the scheme including safeguards for food businesses.

Businesses: Good hygiene is good for your business (PDF, 261k).

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Safeguards for food businesses

In order to ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, it has been designed to include a number of safeguards. These are:

  • an appeal procedure (PDF, 115k)
  • 'a 'right to reply' (PDF, 135k)
  • an opportunity to request a re-visit (PDF, 126k) when improvements have been made in order to be reassessed for a new rating.

Where will the food hygiene rating be displayed?

Following an inspection it may take up to 28 days for the new rating to appear on the FSA's website. You can search for hygiene ratings for local businesses in the Ryedale area and anywhere else the scheme is being operated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Businesses are also given a window sticker and certificate showing their rating and are encouraged to display these at their premises in places where you can easily see them when you visit. Display is voluntary at the moment.

Where can I get further information?

If you have any queries about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme more information is available from the Food Standards Agency or contact Health and Environment on 01653 600666.

Scheme disclaimer

The food hygiene rating scheme is not an endorsement of current standards but merely reflects the score we awarded to a premises at the time of their inspection.  Nevertheless, we try very hard to make sure the information available on these pages is correct. The food hygiene rating scheme adheres to the FSA' s brand standard.

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Food Safety Inspections

We carry out regular checks on all food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained. Visits to food businesses are carried out without prior notification. Higher risk businesses are visited more frequently than lower risk.

Why are inspections carried out?

  • to ensure that food is being handled and produced hygienically
  • to ensure that food is safe to eat
  • to look at the potential risk of food poisoning as a result of food contamination
  • to ensure that food handling staff are trained in food hygiene
  • to inspect the condition of the premises and equipment
  • to ensure there are precautions to prevent pest infestation
  • to ensure that staff are aware of the importance of personal hygiene
  • in addition to our regular inspections, we also respond to food complaints from the public

The Food Standards Agency have provide information to inform businesses of what to expect when an inspector calls - Food law inspections and your business.

What powers do Environmental Health Officers possess?

Officers have a right to enter and inspect premises at all reasonable hours, without an appointment and will usually visit without advance notice. Every attempt will be made to resolve a situation by informal means, but if it is necessary to protect the public, officers will resort to formal action:

  • take samples, photographs and inspect records
  • detain or seize suspect food
  • serve Hygiene Improvement Notices where breaches of the law are identified
  • prosecute the business if the case is serious
  • in extreme cases, closure of the business

For more information please contact Health and Environment on 01653 600666.

 

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