The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps make it easier for you to choose places with good hygiene when you're eating out or shopping for food.
The food hygiene rating tells you about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat out, as well as in supermarkets and other food shops.
The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency.
How the scheme works
Each business is given a hygiene rating when it is inspected by a food safety officer from South Tyneside Council (if the business is outside of South Tyneside, it will be inspected by a food safety officer from the business's local authority).
The hygiene rating tells you the standards of hygiene found at the time of the inspection.
A business is given one of six ratings. These are on a scale from 0 at the bottom, which means that urgent improvement is necessary, to 5 at the top, which means that the business was found to have very good hygiene standards. Any business should be able to reach this top rating.
Spotting good food hygiene
When you eat out or shop for food, look for a sticker in the window or on the door, or a certificate on display, showing you the food hygiene rating for that business. Businesses are encouraged to display these stickers and certificates at their premises in places where you can easily see them when you visit.
If the food outlet you want to visit isn't displaying a sticker, you can check Food Standards Agency. New businesses may not have received an inspection so will not be rated, if in doubt about a rating of a food business you can contact South Tyneside Council to check the business is registered.
What is inspected?
The food safety officer inspecting a business checks how well the business is meeting the law on food hygiene by looking at:
how hygienically the food is handled - how it is prepared, cooked, cooled and stored
the condition of the structure of the buildings, including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, equipment and other facilities
how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe
The food safety officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business, if there are any improvements needed, what they are and how they can achieve a higher rating.