Food hygiene rating scheme

The food hygiene rating scheme was developed to provide information on food hygiene standards to help customers choose where to eat out or shop.

The ratings are decided during inspections by our environmental health officers. The hygiene standards found at these inspections are rated on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom (which means 'urgent improvement necessary') to a top rating of five ('very good').

You can check the rating of a business on the Food Stands Agency Website.

Following an inspection, food businesses are provided with a sticker showing their rating.

New food businesses are given an 'awaiting inspection' sticker until such time that they receive a food hygiene inspection and their rating is determined.

There are no legal requirements to display the sticker at the entrance to the premises, but businesses are encouraged to do so because it will mean customers can easily see them and decide if they want to go in.

Further information on how these ratings are determined can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

Appealing against a Hygiene Rating

After an inspection, there's a 14 day period in which food businesses can appeal if they feel that the inspecting officer awarded them a rating which they feel is unfair.

If an appeal is made, we will respond within seven days. No food hygiene rating will be displayed until the appeal has been decided.

Requesting a Food Hygiene Rating revisit

You can make a request for a further visit to re-score the premises.  This request can be made at any time, but the revisit will not generally take place until at least three months from the initial inspection.

Only one requested revisit will take place, other than in exceptional circumstances. You will need to explain the improvements that you have made since the initial inspection on the revisit request form.

Any visit that we do will be unannounced and will take place within three months of the request being made. The inspecting officer will not only check that the required improvements have been made, but will also assess the level of compliance that is found overall.  This means that the score could go up, down or remain the same.

Right to reply

You have a 'right to reply' which will be published on the Food Standards Agency website with the score. The purpose is to enable you to give an explanation of what's been done since the inspection to put the problems right.

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

More information about appealing, requesting a re-visit and the right to reply can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

Completed forms should be returned to us at the following address

Environmental Health Services Exeter City Council Civic Centre Paris Street Exeter EX1 1RQ

Telephone 01392 265790


For information on the training courses run by us please visit our Environmental Health Training Courses page


When this content has been updated

Last updated 22 January 2016