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Food hygiene rating scheme

Improving your food hygiene rating

If you are a business wanting to improve your food hygiene rating, follow the advice given by the food officer at the time of the inspection and follow the advice given below or in Safer Food, Better Business.

Reduce cross-contamination: to prevent bacteria spreading

  • Keep raw and ready to eat food separate at all times, e.g. during storage and preparation
  • Provide separate equipment for raw and ready to eat food, e.g. chopping boards, utensils, vacuum packers which are clearly distinguishable
  • Wear separate overclothing when handling open raw or ready to eat food
  • Practice good personal hygiene, e.g. wash hands immediately after preparing food, handling waste, smoking and before handling ready to eat food
  • Ensure that adequate pest control measures are in place, e.g. to prevent mice and flies

Cleaning: to remove bacteria

  • Ensure good personal hygiene: wash hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Clear and clean as you go
  • Clean and, if necessary, disinfect work surfaces, equipment, etc., thoroughly
  • Clean hand contact points such as taps, handles, etc. frequently
  • Have a cleaning schedule and follow it

Chilling: to prevent the growth of bacteria

  • All high risk foods (those capable of supporting the growth of bacteria such as meat, poultry, dairy products) must be stored at 8 degrees Centigrade or lower
  • Check 'use by' dates and don't use if out of date
  • Cool food as quickly as possible and place in the fridge within 90 minutes
  • Frozen food should be stored at minus 18 degrees Centigrade or lower
  • Defrost food thoroughly before cooking, ideally defrost in the fridge
  • High risk foods must not be left out of chilled conditions for more than 4 hours

Cooking and re-heating food: to kill bacteria

  • Check all food is thoroughly cooked and reaches a temperature of at least 72 degrees Centigrade, check before serving
  • If reheating food, ensure it is piping hot before serving
  • If holding hot food, it must be kept at 63 degrees Centigrade or above
  • If falling below 63 degrees Centigrade, foods must only be held for 2 hours or less

Food safety management system: to ensure you provide safe food

If you need any further help or advice, please contact us.