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Food hygiene ratings

Food Standards Agency logo for the Food Hygiene Rating SchemeNew scheme for food hygiene ratings

In early 2012, we stopped using the council's scores on the doors rating for food hygiene and instead use the Food Standards Agency’s food hygiene rating scheme.

Businesses will now display new certificates and stickers with a rating between zero and five, which replaces the old A to E scores.

The food hygiene rating scheme is a national system. It is used to reflect the standard of food hygiene, not the quality of the food, at places to eat and where food is sold.

How to find a food hygiene rating of a food business

All of the food hygiene ratings are displayed on the Food Standards Agency’s website.

Search for food hygiene ratings in Hull on the Food Standards Agency website (link opens in a new window)

Businesses may also have a sticker in the window or on the door, or a certificate on display, showing you the hygiene rating for that business. These stickers and certificates also show the date the hygiene standards were assessed.

We encourage businesses to display these stickers and certificates, however it is not mandatory that they do this. Making it mandatory for businesses to display their rating would require a change in the law so the scheme is adopting a voluntary approach for now.

If the rating is not on display, you can ask a member of staff if the business is in the scheme and what rating was given at the last inspection.

What the ratings mean

Food outlets in Hull are inspected by environmental health officers from Hull City Council.

The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are rated on a scale of 0 to 5. A business is given one of these ratings -

0 - Urgent improvement necessary 1 - Major improvement necessary 2 - Improvement necessary
3 - Generally satisfactory 4 - Good 5 - Very good

Inspections of food businesses

During an inspection we check that their hygiene standards meet legal requirements and cover areas such as –

  • practices - how hygienically the food is handled - how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • structure - the condition of the structure of the buildings - the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • confidence in management - how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe, including having a completed documented food safety management system, the previous history of compliance in the business and staff training

Find out more about inspections 

If a business does not agree with their rating they can appeal, or request a re-visit if they have made significant improvements. They also have the ‘right to reply'.

Find out more about appeals, right to reply and re-visits

Types of business that are given a rating

The businesses and organisations that are given a food hygiene rating include -

  • restaurants, takeaways, cafes and sandwich shops
  • pubs
  • hotels
  • schools
  • hospitals and residential care homes
  • supermarkets, bakeries and delicatessens

Two groups of business where you might eat or buy food are not given food hygiene ratings - these are exempt. We inspect exempt businesses but we don't give them a rating. The two groups of exempt businesses are –

  • businesses that are a low risk to people's health in terms of food safety and that you wouldn't normally think of as a food business. For example, newsagents, chemist shops or visitor centre’s selling tins of biscuits
  • childminders and businesses that offer caring services at home

If a new business has been set up, or there is a new owner, it won't have a food hygiene rating to begin with but it can request a sticker or certificate to display that says 'Awaiting Inspection'. A rating will be given after we have inspected the business to check the hygiene standards.

Contact us

Food Safety Team
Hull City Council
33 Witham

Tel: 01482 300 300
Text phone: 01482 300 349
Fax: 01482 615 518
Email: foodandhealth&

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