The Food Hygiene Information Scheme is designed to allow customers quickly and easily know what the standards of food hygiene are at any place they may choose to eat. It is operated throughout all of Scotland, to a consistent standard set by the Food Standards Agency Scotland to ensure that wherever you see the distinctive rating signs you can be sure of the quality of the inspection. England, Wales and Northern Ireland operate a similar scheme known as the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
Every rated business is visited by a Food Safety Officer from their local authority who complete a full food hygiene inspection. They will then rank the business either a "Pass" which means that they meet legal requirements for food hygiene including those for the physical conditions found or management procedures in place, if this is not found to be the case a ranking of "Improvement Required" is issued along with any enforcement action required to ensure that legal requirements are met.
If an immediate danger to the public’s health is discovered during an inspection, i.e. the food is unsafe to eat, then the officer will take immediate action to protect the public, this can include ordering the business closed until improvements are made.
Some businesses with a very low risk to the public, such as newsagents, chemists and gift shops selling tinned sweets are not included in the scheme, where this is the case a ranking of "Exempt" is given.
Scotland also runs a separate scheme known as Eat Safe, This runs in parallel to the Food Hygiene Information Scheme and awards Eat Safe status to businesses which show they go above and beyond the minimums required by the law. Businesses which achieve this are entitled to show the Eat Safe Logo alongside their Food Hygiene Information Scheme Rating.
Last updated 16/10/2017