How to achieve a 5 star rating for your food business

4 August, 2013
Pat Perry

Pat Perry, Executive Chairman of leading health and safety consultants, Perry Scott Nash, helps you better understand what you need to achieve ahead of your inspection.

Your Score on the Door or Food Hygiene Rating is awarded on the basis of how well you do in three broad categories of legal compliance and good practice. Simply put, the better your systems and evidence of food safety management, the higher your 'Score on the Door'. Each category is awarded a number of marks. The trick is to get as few marks as possible! The table is as follows:


Food Hygiene Rating


5 Stars


4 Stars


3 Stars


2 Stars


1 Star

50 or more

No Stars

In order to get 0-15 marks you will need to achieve excellent standards:

1. Level of Current Compliance

  • Evidence of meeting all legal/audit requirements or exceeding them.
  • No follow up actions required. No revisit necessary before next planned audit.
  • No follow up action identified for the premises in relation to food handling practices, procedures, staff personal hygiene or temperature control.
  • No risk of cross contamination identified.
  • Safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage of foods seen during the audit
  • Evidence of compliance with company food safety policy and procedures.

2. Level of current compliance with structural requirements, including cleanliness, condition of structure

  • Evidence of meeting legal requirements or exceeding them.
  • No revisit needed.
  • No follow up action identified for premises in relation to structural repairs, cleanliness, layout, condition of structure, lighting, ventilation facilities eg wash hand basins.
  • No repairs required
  • No potential improvements required.
  • Premises and equipment clean and in good condition.
  • Evidence of effective pest control and waste disposal provision.
  • Evidence of compliance with company food safety policy and procedures in relation to structural matters.

3. Confidence in Management

  • No follow up action required in respect of food safety management procedures.
  • No revisit necessary
  • Food safety management procedures in place and being followed at time of visit.
  • External audit of food safety, management procedures.
  • Hazards understood, properly controlled managed and reviewed, with supporting evidence i.e. HACCP in place.
  • Food safety management procedures adequately cover all aspects of food preparation, cooking and display/detail.
  • Food safety management records maintained.
  • All staff suitably supervised, instructed and/or trained in food hygiene.
  • Appropriate staff trained in the application of HACCP principles.
  • Very good track record of compliance on previous audits where applicable.

Work through the above lists and you will be well on your way to 5 stars.

Remember though, it's what the EHO sees on the day of the inspectionthat counts, you could have the best HACCP in the world or the best paperwork and procedures but if staff do not follow procedures or keep records then you will be plummeting towards NO STARS!

For more information on this or other matters relating to health and safety in the workplace Contact Us.

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