If you are setting up of running a business in Kent, London or Medway that is serving food you need to have a food hygiene rating from your local council.
These ratings allow member of the public to assess a venue’s standards are up to scratch before eating there. A good rating is also vital to the restaurant if they want to win business from the various food ordering apps such as JustEat, Deliveroo and UberEats. Whilst each has their own qualification standard to appear on their app, highest sales will be won by eateries with the highest food hygiene ratings.
All rating are available for the public to view online on the Scores on the Doors website. Whilst it is not a legal requirement, food venues are encouraged to display their rating. Hence, if you don’t see one displayed, it is normally safe to assume the venue has only scored 1 or 2 stars.
What do the ratings mean?
- 0 Star – Urgent Improvement Necessary
- 1 star – Major Improvement Necessary
- 2 star – Improvement Necessary
- 3 star – Generally Satisfactory
- 4 star – Good
- 5 star – Very Good
Food Hygiene Assessment
The assessment is done across three criteria:
1) cleanliness / safe food handling
3) confidence in management
Cleanliness and Safe Food Handling
Fairly self explanatory; the kitchen, preparation and storage areas should be clean, with no evidence of dirt, old food waste or contaminants like mouse droppings. Employees should display good self hygiene including clean over-garments like aprons.
Other important elements include the use of colour coded equipment to reduce the risk of cross contamination, and the use of the correct cleaning products.
Measures should be in place for the safe cooking, chilling and storage of food with adequate temperature records maintained.
The physical building should be well maintained. Any holes in walls (for example where pipes or cable come through) should be sealed and doors should be in good condition. The lighting, ventilation and layout are also considered.
Confidence in the Management
This essentially boils down to documentation and record keeping. I often say to customers the inspector can only observe how things are on that particular visit. The documentation and records are how they can judge whether the standards observed are able to be maintained.
The documentation will involve having a food management system which identifies risks and hazards, sets out processes for managing and reducing the risks and relevant and suitable staff training.
If you just don’t know where to start you needn’t worry. Get in touch and I can come explain how I can support you, by building and installing a full food management system that will allow you to score a 5 star rating that will boost your turnover and reputation. As part of the full Peninsula service I provide, you will also benefit from a range of e-learning courses, and software to manage your risk assessments and manage tasks such as PAT testing and fire extinguisher servicing.