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The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in Wales

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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme criteria

The Scheme is run by local authorities in Wales in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Welsh Government.

The FSA is responsible for the operation of the scheme. Wales is the first UK country to introduce a statutory hygiene rating scheme. A similar scheme operates on a voluntary basis in England and Northern Ireland. Scotland has its own Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

The scheme is designed to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by providing information about food hygiene standards. Included in the scheme are:

  • restaurants
  • pubs
  • cafes
  • takeaways
  • hotels
  • supermarkets and other shops selling food directly to consumers. 

It also applies to schools, hospitals and residential care homes.

Each food business is given a food hygiene rating when inspected by a local authority food safety officer. This rating is based on the standards of compliance with food hygiene law. The officer will look 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.

There are six possible food hygiene ratings. '0' is the lowest, meaning that urgent improvement is necessary. '5' is the highest and means that the business was found to be 'very good'.  All businesses should be able to achieve a '5' rating. The food safety officer will explain what the business owner or manager needs to do and how to achieve a higher rating.  Following the inspection, the local authority gives the food business a food hygiene rating sticker showing the rating they achieved. The business must display this sticker where consumers can see it easily.

For businesses

The FSA has produced a leaflet for food businesses in Wales to explain the statutory scheme (external link)

For consumers

You can check the rating of your favourite food shops, restaurants and other food businesses you use here (external link)

For food safety officers

The FSA has provided scheme guidance and materials (external link)