Food hygiene inspections

We carry out regular checks on all registered food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained.

On average we carry out up to 400 inspections a year

Visits are undertaken, where possible, without prior notification and are prioritised according to potential risk. This ensures higher risk premises are visited more often.

Apart from a small number which are exempt from the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, businesses are given a rating ranging from zero (urgent improvement necessary) to five (very good) after each inspection. 

The rating is based on the officer’s assessment of:

  • how hygienically the food is handled – including how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
  • the physical condition of the business – including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, pest control and other facilities
  • how the business manages processes, training and systems to ensure good hygiene is achieved and maintained.

Ratings are displayed on the Food Standards Agency website. 

When we inspect a business which reaches the highest rating we celebrate their success through our Facebook page. Businesses can also use the Food Standards Agency’s toolkit to promote their achievements.

When a business is rated between zero and two we will revisit them to ensure that necessary action has been taken. Their rating will remain the same, however, as at the initial inspection. 

The rating will be reviewed at the next inspection when we are confident that the business has made sustained changes.  Alternatively, a request can be made for ratings to be re-assessed at any point at a cost of £192. The revisit will be carried out within three months of receiving the request a revisit (doc, 222kb) form and payment. 

All businesses have a right to reply (pdf, 63kb) to tell customers how it has improved hygiene standards or if there were unusual circumstances at the time of inspection. This response will be published online alongside the rating. Businesses can also appeal (pdf, 63kb) the rating if they disagree with it.

Where poor conditions persist, or there is a risk to public health, formal action may be taken. This could involve either serving a legal notice, prosecution or, in extreme cases, closure of the business.

We want every business to succeed and get food hygiene matters right.

We offer free advice and advisory visits to new businesses. Further advice can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.

We also have Primary Authority Partnerships in place to give businesses tailored advice on how to comply with environmental health legislation.

For information and advice on food hygiene, or information about the Primary Authority scheme, please email

If you have a food complaint you can report it here .