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Food Safety - Hygiene Rating Scheme

Local food businesses are inspected to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safely.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Basildon Borough Council takes part in the Food Standards Agency's (FSA's) national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

This replaces our previous "Scores on the Doors" scheme and aims to provide a single, easy to understand scheme for businesses and their users, based on food hygiene standards found at the time.

How are the ratings worked out?

Local food businesses are inspected to make sure that all food is handled and prepared safely.

After a premises has been inspected, an overall number rating, from zero (the worst) to five (the best) is awarded.

Three areas are assessed:

· Food hygiene

· Structure and cleanliness

· Confidence in management

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

Information for Businesses

Right of appeal

Businesses will be notified of their food hygiene score and rating after the inspection. Once notified, they will have 21 days in which to appeal, if they feel that the rating is unjust. The food business operator is encouraged to contact the inspecting officer in the first instance, and then if the matter cannot be resolved, a formal appeal may be lodged with the Environmental Health Manager, by submitting a completed copy of pdf icon Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Appeal Form [79kb]

When an appeal has been lodged the outcome has to be decided within 21 days. Until the appeal has been decided, the rating will not be published on the website.

Provision of stickers

All businesses which are within the scheme will be issued with window stickers. It is not currently against the law if a business does not display these, but it is possible that this could change in the future.

Right to reply

Food business operators are entitled to lodge a 'right to reply' following an inspection. This will then be published on the website with the score.

Comments need to be made in writing on the pdf icon Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Right To Reply Form [68kb], and sent to the inspecting officer.

The text published on the website may be edited to remove any offensive, defamatory, or clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks.

Request for a further revisit for the purposes of rescoring

If the food business operator has taken action to correct any issues raised as a result of the inspection, they are entitled to apply to be rescored. This request can be made at any time, but the revisit will not generally take place within the first 3 months after the initial inspection.

Only one requested revisit will take place between programmed inspections, other than in justified exceptional circumstances.

The food business operator must apply in writing on the pdf icon Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Request for Revisit Form [71kb] The council can refuse to undertake the revisit, if the case made by the food business operator is not substantiated or if insufficient evidence is provided.

There is currently no charge for such revisit requests, although this may change in the future.

Note: There is no guarantee that a revisit to rescore will result in an improved rating. It is possible that the rating could remain the same or even go down, if insufficient action has been taken or if further issues are identified.

Revisits for rescoring will be unannounced.

If you require any further information or advice please contact us, using the details below.

Exempt businesses

Certain businesses are exempt from the scheme. This mainly affects businesses such as childminders and where caring services are provided in the home environment. At the present time, exempt businesses cannot "opt in" to the scheme

Excluded businesses

Certain businesses are excluded from the scheme where they do not supply food direct to consumers, e.g. manufacturers and transporters. At the present time excluded businesses cannot "opt in" to the scheme.

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