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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is operated by our food safety and port health officers in partnership with the Food Standard Agency.

The Scheme 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 Scheme, food businesses are provided with a sticker with a food hygiene rating between zero and five for them to display.

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 food hygiene rating sticker, which can be displayed at each entrance to the premises. 

More information


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