The Times has reported on the results of a recent investigation on failing restaurant food hygiene. 15,000 restaurants and food outlets across the UK have a “failing food hygiene rating”. This is equivalent to a score of to 0, 1, or 2 out of 5. Let’s think about a national branded outlet, high-end, Michelin starred, rated highly on Tripadvisor or Toptable etc. Surely such a place will definitely be highly rated or in other words safe to eat in? Well don’t be fooled by that! the Times investigation revealed some low scoring outlets which would definitely fall under this category of national branded or high end.

The story demonstrates that standards are quite polarised. Data from the Food Standards Agency shows that the proportion of food establishments achieving broad food hygiene compliance fell from 91.2% in 2012/13 to 90.7% last year. Those achieving a score of 5 remains high at 70.1%.

MP’s have called for a change in the law to extend the mandatory requirement for food establishments to show their Food Hygiene Rating nationwide. Currently this is mandatory only in Wales and Northern Ireland so currently if you are in Wales, you will know by looking at the door what the score is. If you are in England you can’t. And we all know that can’t be right!

The Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating Scoring System

The Food Standards Agency has classified each rating as follows:

0 Urgent Improvement Necessary

1 Major improvement Necessary

2 Some improvement Necessary

3 Generally Satisfactory

4 Good

5 Very Good



Failing Food Hygiene Ratings are described as a 0, 1 or 2 by The Food Standards Agency in their explanation of the Scheme

Over the coming weeks we shall be posting about some of the most common food hygiene standards failures and pitfalls. Avoiding these failures and pitfalls will help establishments with lower scores to achieve a 5. The FSA is, rightly, adamant that all outlets should be able to achieve a Food Hygiene Rating score of 5.

Find out more about our fabulous app HygieneCheck and discover how you can take control over food hygiene standards and achieve a Food Hygiene Rating of 5!


Low food hygiene ratings – why do restaurants fail? BRC Global Standards Standard for Packaging Materials Issue 6 – Key Changes