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Your Borough Of Poole

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - for Customers

Eating out? Getting food in?   Check the food hygiene rating

Food Hygiene Ratings for Poole businesses are now available on the Food Standards Agency website.

Food Hygiene Ratings Five Star Banner

What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?

We are running the scheme in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (the central Government Department with responsibility for food safety).  It will help you choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you information about the hygiene standards in food premises at the time they are inspected by one of our food safety officers to check that they are meeting legal requirements on food hygiene.  

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Why is the scheme important?

Telling consumers about hygiene standards in food outlets gives them greater choice.  It also recognises those businesses with the highest standards and encourages others to improve.  The overall aim is to reduce the number of cases of food poisoning which currently affects about one million people in the UK every year.   

The scheme is being introduced across England, Wales and Northern Ireland so it will help residents and visitors to make informed choices about where to eat out or shop for food not just within the Borough of Poole  but also further afield.  This will also help ensure that businesses are treated fairly and consistently with local competitors and with their competitors more widely.

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Which businesses are given a rating? 

In Poole we have focused the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme on those businesses which prepare and serve high-risk foods for immediate consumption and where a score is most likely to influence customer choice. This includes restaurants, takeaways and similar businesses but excludes most retail premises and schools.

If a business is due an inspection and does not already have a Rating, it is listed as "Awaiting Inspection" on the Food Standards Agency website..

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How is the rating calculated? 

Each business is given a rating following an inspection by a food safety officer.  This is based on how well the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law at that time. In particular:

  • how hygienically the food is handled safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage

  • the condition of the structure of the premises cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities

  • how food safety is managed and documented

The rating reflects the conditions found at the time of the last inspection and does not reflect the quality of food or the standards of service the business provides.

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What are the different ratings?

A business is given one of these six ratings.  

All businesses will be given certificates and window stickers to display, although this is not yet compulsory.  

At a glance - the difference between ratings 0-5

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Where will the food hygiene rating be displayed? 

You can look up food hygiene ratings on the Food Standards Agency website.   

You can search for ratings for local businesses and anywhere else the scheme is being operated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

Businesses are also given a window sticker and certificate showing their rating and are encouraged to display these at their premises in places where you can easily see them when you visit.  Display is voluntary at the moment.  

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Where can I get further information? 

You can read about the scheme on the FSA's website

Following an inspection it may take up to 36 days for the new rating to appear on the Food Standards Agency website.

You may find the food business newsletter "Gut Reaction" produced by Dorset Councils interesting and informative.

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