Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Knowsley Council operates the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The scheme is designed to allow consumers to make informed decisions about where to eat out or shop for food and encourages businesses to improve their hygiene standards.  

The scores from the scheme are generated from an assessment of compliance with food legislation at the time of the inspection. The hygiene rating is based upon three factors:   

  • Food Safety Practices and Procedures  
  • Structure and Cleaning  
  • Confidence in Management    

Only businesses that directly supply the public are included in the food hygiene rating scheme e.g., most food shops, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, and pubs.  

Further information on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme can be found on the Food Standard Agency website.

Following a food hygiene inspection, a rating is generated ranging from 5 (Very good) 5 to 0 (Urgent improvement required). Scores are published on the national Food Hygiene Website. Businesses are also provided with a sticker outlining their rating. It is not currently a legal requirement to display a food hygiene rating sticker in England.  

You can search for food hygiene ratings for businesses in Knowsley on the Food Standard Agenecy website

Please note, the rating is only a reflection of conditions found on the day of the inspection and standards may have gone up or down since that inspection. It does not include the quality of food, taste or standard of service.  

If a food business does display a rating sticker, it must display the most recent hygiene rating. It is an offence to display a food hygiene rating scheme sticker that is misleading.  

Safeguards for businesses 

There are several safeguards for food businesses.  

Appeals against a rating 

Businesses who wish to dispute a food hygiene rating have the right to appeal against the rating that was assigned during the inspection. 

A Food Business Operator disputing a rating is encouraged to discuss this informally first with the inspecting officer. 

A business may lodge a formal appeal against a rating within 21 days of being informed of the rating (including weekends and bank holidays). If you would still like to make an appeal, please complete and return the below form to [email protected]. Upon receiving an application for an appeal, an independent senior officer will consider whether the original rating was justified.  

Food hygiene appeal form  


Right to reply 

The business owner or manager also has a 'right to reply'. This is different from an appeal. The owner or manager can submit an explanation on how the business has improved hygiene or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection. A business's right to reply will be published online by the Council alongside the business's hygiene rating. 

Right to reply form

Request for reinspection  

If a food business has made improvements to hygiene standards, they can ask for a reinspection before the next planned inspection. There is a charge for this service. Please be aware that if standards have deteriorated then the rating can go down.  

Requests for reinspection will be considered after receipt of a valid application form and sufficient evidence that improvements have been made. The premises will be reinspected, normally without prior notice. There is a fee for this service.  

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