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FHRS goes live in Hackney. Health Minister Anna Soubry attended the launch of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) by the London Borough of Hackney and presented some top rated food businesses with their certificates.

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps you choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat, as well as in supermarkets and other food shops.

FHRS in Plain English

The Council work out your score in three areas.

  • Your practices and procedures
  • The structural condition of the premises
  • Their overall view of you as the person operating the business including your paperwork

One of the problems is that the score is based their findings at the time – it is a snap shot of the business operating. And whilst the visit should be unannounced, that snap shot might not always be a picture of your best side. Then this rating can stay with until they visit you again in 18 months or 3 years time!

To help them score in each category the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issue guidelines and examples to help the Council's inspectors be consistent. Of course the guidelines cannot cover every circumstance that an inspector encounters, so there is still an element of subjectiveness. This is where we can help you with an appeal and get you a better score.

One particular area that well run businesses are falling down on is the fact that the scoring scheme is heavily negative if your paperwork is not as good as it should be. This is something we understand the FSA have already realised, as inspectors can find a brilliantly clean and well run food business still unable to get a 5 score, if their paperwork is lacking in some way. Let us make sure that this doesn't apply to you. We can get things sorted before they turn up and make their assessment.

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