The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is a national scheme run by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with us in County Durham. The rating given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection and is not a guide to food quality.
This allows consumers to make informed choices about the places where they eat out or shop for food, encouraging businesses to improve their hygiene standard. Search for food hygiene ratings in Durham. Food businesses will be given a sticker to display at their premises.
Businesses are given a rating from 0 to 5. The top rating is 5 and the bottom is 0.
Find out more about which businesses are given a rating, how the rating is worked out and answers to other questions you may have in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme FAQs (PDF, 154kb).
If a food business is not happy with the food hygiene rating they have been awarded they should contact us to discuss their concerns. If the issue cannot be resolved at this stage, there are three further options to consider: an appeal; a right to reply; and an opportunity to request a revisit.
You can appeal by email or in writing within 21 days of being notified of your rating. There is a standard form available to download:
If you submit an appeal, the online food hygiene rating will show 'Awaiting Publication'. Your application will be reviewed by a senior officer, who will advise you of the outcome within 21 days of the appeal date.
Please send your comments by email or in writing to the officer who carried out the inspection. There is a standard form available to download:
You can make a comment at any time before your next inspection, which will be visible alongside your online food hygiene rating. You may consider that there are exceptional circumstances at the time the inspection was carried out which have affected your rating. You may also wish to explain to your customers the actions you have taken to rectify matters. This is your 'right to reply'.
Any comments that are offensive, inaccurate or irrelevant may be removed or edited.
If you have carried out the improvements identified at the last inspection you can request a re-visit at any time prior to the next scheduled inspection in writing or email to the officer who carried out your inspection. There is a standard form available to download:
Although there is no limit to the number of requests that can be made, it is important to fully understand your inspection report and take appropriate action before requesting another inspection. Businesses will be subject to a charge of £170 per revisit.
As the inspection visit will be unannounced and all areas of your business will be reviewed, it is important to maintain standards generally as your rating could go down and not up. The inspection visit will be carried out within three months of the request being confirmed.