National food hygiene rating scheme

Example of the food hygiene rating award

For information about the national award visit the Food Standards Agency [external link] and frequently asked questions [external link].

Darlington Borough Council implemented this national scheme on 1 April 2012 for all of the food businesses supplying food directly to consumers in its area. It replaced Tees Valley Food Hygiene Rating Scheme operated, since July 2007, by Darlington Borough Council in conjunction with Stockton, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, and Redcar and Cleveland Councils .

Consumers will be able to access ratings and information about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme at the Food Standards Agency [external link] and businesses will be encouraged to display stickers and certificates showing their rating at their premises.

How the food hygiene rating will be calculated

When food safety officers, authorised by the Council, inspect food premises they assess compliance with food hygiene legislation. Part of the assessment looks at three specific compliance areas that are directly influenced by the food business operator and using the ‘risk score’ (as seen in the table below) creates the hygiene rating.

Tips for caterers to achieve a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 [pdf document]

Compliance areaScores
Food hygiene and safety 0 5 10 15 20 25
Structure and cleaning 0 5 10 15 20 25
Confidence in management and control systems 0 5 10 N/A 20 30

These scores are then used to calculate the Food Hygiene Rating.

Total score 0 - 15 20 25 - 30 35 - 40 45 - 50 >50
No score more than 5 10 10 15 20 -
Your rating is 5 4 3 2 1 0

The food hygiene rating will reflect the hygiene standards found at the time of inspection by a food safety officer employed by the Council.

0 - urgent improvement neccessary 1 - major improvement necessary 2 - improvement neccessary 3 - generally satisfactory 4- good 5- very good