Food Safety Training, Auditing & Management
Food Safety Training, Auditing & Management

Latest figures on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

The Food Standards Agency has published their annual report on UK local authority food law enforcement 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, which details the current position of food standards ratings throughout the UK.

The Food Standard Agency (FSA) is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the performance of Local Authorities (LAs) food law enforcement services. Data is collected annually from LAs on food law enforcement activity with food establishments. The report is an official statistic and summarises data for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

This is a summary of the main headlines.

The percentage of food establishments across the UK achieving at least a 3 star rating was 89% of those inspected. There were 6% of food establishments that were unsatisfactory, (or less than 3 stars) where improvements were necessary. In addition 5% of premises were not yet rated usually as a result of new ownership, as a new business or other change.

There were 6,543 formal food hygiene enforcement actions, 161,845 establishments were subject to written warnings and there were 547 formal food standards enforcement actions. 23,044 establishments were subject to written warnings.

The total number of complaints about the safety and quality of food reported to LAs in this period was 11,414. Hygiene complaints reported and investigated were 73,806.

A score is given to each establishment to determine the frequency of intervention by LAs. The intervention rating for food hygiene is based on assessment of a number of elements: type of food and processing; number and type of consumers potentially at risk; current compliance of the establishment; risk of contamination; and confidence in management. The intervention rating is on a scale from 0 to 197. The higher the overall score given to the business, the greater the frequency of intervention by the LA.

Risk category Score Intervention frequency
A <92 At least every 6 months
B 72 to 91 At least every 12 months
C 52 to 71 At least every 18 months
D 31 to 51 At least every 24 months
E 0 to 30 A programme of alternative enforcement strategies or interventions every three years.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) operates in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The scheme is voluntary in England (currently), and mandatory in Wales and Northern Ireland. It provides transparency to consumers about hygiene standards in individual food businesses at the time of LA inspections. Levels are presented on a simple numerical scale from ‘0’ at the bottom to ‘5’ at the top. Ratings are derived using three of the elements that are assessed to determine the Food Hygiene Intervention Rating. This is illustrated in the table below.

How the six FHRS food hygiene ratings are derived from FLCoP food hygiene scoring system
Total FLCoP socres* 0 - 15 20 25 - 30 35 - 40 45 - 50 >50
Additional scoring factor No individual score greater than 5 No individual score greater than 5 No individual score greater than 5 No individual score greater than 5 No individual score greater than 5 n/a
Food hygiene rating 5 4 3 2 1 0
Description Very good Good Generally satisfactory Improvement necessary Major improvement necessary Urgent improvement necessary
Broadly compliant? Yes Yes Yes No No No

*Food Law Codes Of Practice

*The sum of the three relevant FLCoP food hygiene intervention rating scores which are: compliance in (1) food hygiene and safety procedures, (2) structure, and (3) confidence in management.

A total of 634,584 food establishments were registered with Local Authorities in the UK as at 31 March 2017. In this chart E is the top rating & A is the bottom (0-1 star).

Risk category Primary producers Manufacturers & Packers Importers/ Exporters Distributors/ Transporters Retailers Restaurants & Caterers Total
A 17 470 0 15 236 1,999 2,737
B 57 2,456 16 97 2,086 23,735 28,447
C 135 3,562 43 352 12,762 113,296 130,150
D 722 4,273 257 1,811 37,013 157,540 201,616
E 659 1,477 177 689 5,602 24,042 32,646
Outside* 1,588 471 231 905 4,102 12,859 20,156
Total 5,736 19,979 1,463 10,108 137,074 460,224 634,584

The proportion of rated food establishments achieving ‘broad compliance’ (this is equivalent to food hygiene ratings of 3, 4 or 5 under the FHRS), was 94.4% in 2016/17. The proportion of rated food establishments that were considered either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ (this is equivalent to food hygiene ratings of 4 or 5 under the FHRS), was 83.9% over this period. At the lower end of the food hygiene compliance scale, the proportion of rated food establishments, which required ‘urgent’ or ‘major improvement’ (equivalent to food hygiene ratings of 0 or 1 under the FHRS) was at 3.5% over the period.

We have a report on how the FHRS scheme works and how the scores are derived in our "Knowledge Hub" section of the website.

A full copy of the report discussed here is available on the FSA website.

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