Is A Hygiene Rating of 5 Good?

A Food Standards Agency rating of 5 means hygiene standards are very good.

A hygiene rating of 5 is at the top of the hygiene rating scale.  It means that the business complies with the law.

An establishment with a food hygiene rating of 5 will have received a score of between 0 and 15 points.

Officers add points when there are certain shortcomings found during an inspection.  The more points an establishment receives, the worse their hygiene rating will be.

Likewise, the fewer points a business receives, the better their rating will be.

During an inspection, a food safety officer will score a business in each of the following areas.

Note: To achieve the highest rating, businesses must perform well in each area.

Hygienic food handling

Inspectors examine how well the establishment prepares and handles food.

They also look at how the business deals with the cooking, re-heating, cooling and the storing of food.

Inspections also cover things like temperature control and personal hygiene.  In other words, how clean the chefs are working (washing of hands etc).

Finally, inspections examine how well a business prevents cross-contamination.

Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building

In this area of inspection, officers examine the physical condition of the building.

They look at how good the structure is and how well its maintained.  Besides the cleanliness, the following factors are also considered:

  • Building layout
  • Building lighting
  • Building ventilation
  • Pest control
  • Any other facilities

Management of food safety

This area examines the processes and procedures that are in place to ensure food safety.

This gives the officer an idea of how likely a business is to maintain standards in the future.

Determining the actual hygiene rating

To determine the hygiene rating, officers add together the scores from each category.

This final score is then used to determine the hygiene rating for the business.

You can read more about how ratings are calculated here.

Some five-rated businesses are more hygienic than others

For any given area of inspection, one business may perform better than another.  Yet they could still receive the same rating.

For example, some businesses dont receive any points during their inspection.  Not only will this get them a 5 rating, but they will achieve a perfect score.

In this case officers were unable to find any hygiene shortcomings.

Yet, some businesses may receive up to 15 points and still receive a rating of 5.  In this case, hygiene standards are still deemed very good.  But there is slight room for improvement.

You can find out how well a business scored in each area by viewing the page for any given business on this website.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are 541,277 food businesses registered with the Food Standards Agency. Out of those:

  • A total of 363,621 businesses have achieved a rating of 5 (67.18%).
  • A total of 106,421 businesses have achieved a perfect score of zero points (19.66%).