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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 21 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, the Lead Officer for Food will review the rating and communicate the outcome of the appeal within 21 days. No food hygiene rating will be displayed until the appeal has been decided.

Requesting a Food Hygiene Rating revisit

You can request a re-visit for the purposes of re-rating your premises if you have taken action to rectify the non-compliances identified at the time of inspection. You can request a re-visit at any time provided that you have made the required improvements. There is a charge of £160 per revisitand no limit on the number of requests you can make.

You must provide details of the improvements made with your request, including supporting evidence where appropriate.

If we consider that you have provided sufficient evidence that the required improvements have been made, an unannounced visit will take place. This will be carried out within three months of the receipt of your request and payment of the fee. We will then give you a ‘new’ food hygiene rating based on the level of compliance that is found at the time of the re-visit - you should be aware that your rating 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.


Completed forms should be returned to us at the following address

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

Alternatively, use our Contact Us form and send your completed form as an attachment. 

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 21 June 2023

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