Food hygiene inspection and ratings

Food hygiene inspection

During a food hygiene inspection, an Environmental Health Officer will view your food production and storage areas, discuss your food safety practices and procedures and view your food safety management system (food safety plan).

Risk scoring

After each food hygiene inspection undertaken by an Environmental Health Officer, the business is provided with a risk scoring.

The lower the risk that the food business poses to food safety, the less often a food hygiene inspection will be undertaken. This allows us to focus our resources on businesses which have poorer practices, or greater risks, so we help them to improve standards and protect the public.

If a business receives a food hygiene rating scheme score of 4 or less, the owner or manager of the business should talk to the Environmental Health Officer that inspected the business about why the rating was given.

Request a revisit

A food business owner can formally request that a rescoring visit is undertaken. The cost of a revisit is £97 and a business can request more than one revisit. To request a revisit, please complete the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme's (FHRS) Request a revisit [DOCX, 84Kb] form and return it to us using the details below.

Please call us on the below telephone number to make payment if a revisit is required.

Please note, the charge for Requesting a revisit may change during 2019.


If the business owner or manager thinks that the rating is unfair or wrong, they can appeal in writing to South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Food Safety Officer.

You have 21 days (including weekends and bank holidays) from the date of receipt of the notification of FHRS rating to lodge an appeal. Before making an appeal, please visit the Appeals section of the Food Standards Agency website for further information.

Right to Reply

The owner or manager of the business also has a right to reply. This is different from an appeal. This allows the owner or manager to tell potential customers how the business has improved hygiene, or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. A business’s right to reply will be published online with the business’s hygiene rating.

To make a right to reply, please complete the FHRS Right to Reply [DOCX, 75Kb] form and return it to us using the details below.

For further details of the FHRS safeguards please see the Food Standards Agency website.  

We have adopted the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) from the Food Standards Agency.

The scheme helps customers to choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

It’s not easy to judge hygiene standards on appearance alone, so the rating gives you an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors.

You can check the ratings by looking at the window or door of a business, or by searching for a business on the FHRS website.

At the end of each food hygiene inspection, an officer will provide the business with a food hygiene rating scheme score between 0 (urgent improvement required) to 5 (very good). The scoring is based upon three criteria:

  • How hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • The condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  • How the business manages what it does to make sure food is safe and so that the officer can be confident standards will be maintained in the future.

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