How Do I Get A Five Star Food Hygiene Rating?
We are often asked, “how do I get a five star food hygiene rating?” In this article, we share the systems and evidence the Environmental Health Officer is looking for when they inspect your business.
What Is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?
This food hygiene rating scheme helps customers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels and supermarkets.
The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency. Each business is given a ‘hygiene rating’ when it is inspected by a food safety officer from the business’s local authority. The hygiene rating shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law and good practice.
The Food Safety Officer inspecting a business check how well the business is meeting the law by looking at:
- how hygienically the food is handled – how it’s prepared, cooked, cooled, re-heated & stored
- the condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation & other facilities
- how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe
- confidence in the management team
Five Key Systems
Some of the systems that they will assess include your:
Food Safety Management System
How well is it managed and how accurate is it? If you operate the Safer Food Better Business System are all the details completed and is it up to date?
Cleaning Schedule and Records
Do they cover all areas of your business? Are they accurate and up to date? Have the cleaning records been signed off by the cleaner and a supervisor?
Temperature Control Records
Do you check and record delivery temperatures, cooking temperatures, hot holding temperatures, as well as fridge and freezer temperatures? Do you use probe wipes and do you keep an eye on the best before date? Are your probes calibrated?
Are all your team trained in basic food safety principles and have you kept records to prove this? Has this training been updated within the last three years? Is the manager/proprietor or supervisor trained to a supervisory level? Has everyone been trained on your Food Safety Management System and have you kept records to prove this?
Cross Contamination Controls
Is all your food correctly stored and labelled? Do you have a pest control system in place? Do staff comply with your jewellery policy? Is there evidence of good hand washing?
What the Law Says
EC Food Hygiene Regulations, implemented in 2006, require all food businesses to implement documented food safety management systems based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) principles.
This means businesses must be aware of all the food safety hazards in their food operations and have systems in place to control them. Those responsible for the development of the HACCP-based systems must be able to demonstrate that they have received adequate training in the application of HACCP principles.
HACCP is a system that requires you to identify and control any hazards that could pose a danger to the preparation and handling of safe food. It involves identifying what can go wrong, planning how to prevent it and making sure you are doing it. HACCP is a legal requirement but will also benefit your business.