National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Test Valley Borough Council participates in the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) run by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).


The FHRS has replaced the Hampshire Safe2eat scheme. It provides information about hygiene standards in food premises at the time they are inspected to help consumers choose where to eat and shop for food.


The FHRS gives each business a rating after it has been inspected by a food safety officer. The rating is based upon the following criteria:

  • How hygienically the food is handled – how it is stored, prepared, cooked, cooled, re-heated and served.
  • The condition of the structure of the buildings – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.
  • How the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe. 

A business will be given a sticker after each inspection indicating a rating. Businesses are encouraged to display their sticker in a place where you can easily see them.

You can also search for the rating a business has been given on the Food Standards Agency web site.


What can I do if I am not happy with the rating given to my business?

There are three things that you can do:



You are encouraged to talk to the food safety officer who last inspected your business about  why the rating was given. You will be able to find who this was on the last inspection report. If you still think that the rating is unfair or wrong, then you can appeal in writing within 21 days of being notified of your rating. 

An appeal form is available in the download section at the bottom of the page or from the FSA's website.


Right to Reply

The ‘right to reply’ is different from an appeal and can be used to explain how your business has improved food hygiene after the inspection, or to say if there were unusual circumstances at the time of the inspection that might have affected the rating.


A 'right to reply form' is available in the download section at the bottom of the page or you can obtain one from the FSA’s website. A business’s right to reply will be published on-line by the Council alongside the business’s hygiene rating. The Council may edit your comments in order to remove any offensive, defamatory, clearly inaccurate or irrelevant remarks.


Request a Re-Visit

If you believe that you have made the food hygiene improvements required you can request one re-visit to be undertaken before the next planned inspection. There is currently no charge for requesting a re-visit.


A 'revisit request form' is available in the downloads section or from the FSA’s website. Provided that a ‘stand still’ period of 3 months has elapsed since the last inspection an unannounced re-visit will be made. The rating may go up, down or stay the same as a result of the re-visit.


Scheme Disclaimer

Please note that the rating is not a guide to the quality or value of the food the business prepares or sells. Ratings are based on the standards found at the time of the inspection and may have changed since then. It may also take a few weeks for the new rating to appear on the web site after an inspection due to the notification and appeal periods.


Publishing the rating early

Ratings of 5 are published as soon as the information is uploaded by the Council to the national web site.   Ratings of 0 – 4 are published after the appeal period has lapsed.   However, you can ask that your rating be published early before the end of the appeal period.   This must be made in writing by either the food business operator or manager and include details of who you are, the name and address of the business, the date of the inspection and rating given, and your contact details.   The request will be reviewed and usually result in the rating being published early.   You can make the request by e-mailing or writing to the inspecting officer, or by completing and returning the Request for early publication form on this page.


We make every effort to ensure that the information is correct and meets the FSA’s standards.

Further Information

If there is any further information you require, please contact the

Health Protection Team
Telephone: 01264 368000