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Information for businesses

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme for businesses is designed to help consumers make an informed choice by providing clear information regarding the hygiene standards about the places where they eat and shop.

The scheme also encourages businesses to improve or maintain a good hygiene standard.

Display the rating

Food businesses that are included in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme should display their sticker provided by us at or near each public entrance. The sticker should be easily seen and read by customers before they enter the establishment.

Publication of your rating

Your rating will be published on the Food Standards Agency website within 35 days from the date of your inspection. 

How to appeal your rating

Under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, you have the right to appeal a food hygiene rating if you believe that the rating does not reflect the food hygiene standards at the time of the inspection on which the rating is based.

Your appeal must be made within 21 days from the date you receive your notification letter. We will consider your appeal and notify you of the outcome within 21 days of receiving your appeal form. If you decide to apply for an appeal, you should display the valid rating sticker after the appeal has been decided.

You can contact the Food Safety department to lodge an appeal and receive an appeal form. Completed appeal forms can be emailed to or posted to us using the address in the contact us box.

Re-rating inspection

Under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, you can request an inspection to re-rate your food business establishment. When applying for a re-rating inspection you must make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • You must wait until the end of the 21 days appeal period before you apply for a re-rating inspection.
  • Any appeal against the current food hygiene rating has been determined or abandoned.
  • You must provide details of the improvements made to hygiene standards with your request, including supporting evidence where appropriate.

If any of the conditions are not met your request will be refused.

Once you complete the re-rating form, we will complete an assessment ensuring all conditions have been met. The re-rating inspection will take place within three months of the request being made. You will not be informed of the specific date and time of the visit.

Most re-rating inspections will lead to an improved rating, however it is possible for a lower rating to be given if standards have fallen.

Request a re-rating inspection

To request a re-rating inspection, please contact the Food Safety department to apply and receive a re-rating form. Completed re-rating inspection forms can be emailed to or posted to us using the address in the contact us box.

For more information about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, visit the Food Standard Agency website or phone our Food Safety team on 028 9027 0468.

Right of reply

Under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, you have a right of reply which may be published on the Food Hygiene Rating website. 

The right of reply allows you to comment on the rating the food business receives. For example, a business may wish to publish information in relation to what they consider to be particular circumstances at the time of inspection that affected the rating. They might want to give an update on actions that have been taken following the inspection.

We will publish a business' right of reply online with the business's hygiene rating. However, we have a right to edit your comments or refuse to publish the comments if they contain offensive, defamatory, clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks.

Please contact the department to apply and receive a right of reply form. Completed forms can be emailed to or posted to us using the address in the contact us box.

Contact us
Environmental health
028 9027 0468
Food Safety
Belfast City Council
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street