Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
The Food Hygiene Rating Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 came into operation on 7 October 2016, and is operated by our food safety and port health officers in partnership with the Food Standard Agency.
The Act is designed to help consumers make an informed choice by providing information regarding the hygiene standards in restaurants, cafes, takeaways, hotels, supermarkets and other food shops.
As part of the Act, food businesses are required to display a sticker with a food hygiene rating between zero and five.
How does it work?
Food premises are inspected by our food safety officers and during the inspection we check that the hygiene standards meet legal requirements and cover areas such as:
- how hygienically food is handled - how it’s prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored
- the condition of the structure of the buildings - cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
- how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe - including having a completed safe catering pack or equivalent, the previous history of compliance and staff training.
The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are then rated on a scale of zero to five:
- 5 - Very Good
- 4 - Good
- 3 - Generally satisfactory
- 2 – Improvement necessary
- 1 – Major improvement necessary
- 0 – Urgent improvement necessary
Following the inspection, the food business will receive a valid food hygiene rating sticker where it must be displayed at each entrance to the premises.
Find out more about the Food Hygiene Rating Act (Northern Ireland) 2016.