All food businesses have the potential to be awarded the Food Standards Agency maximum Food Hygiene Rating of 5! Every week we have new clients that come to us to help them out of a very difficult situation, no food business wants to achieve a low food hygiene rating. The consequences for this are a poor reputation, loss of sales and customers, bad publicity, legal action with the environmental health officer and council.

The maximum rating demonstrates to your customers that you are working hard to ensure your business is compliant in regard to food safety and the food purchased, stored, prepared, cooked and handled won’t give them food poisoning.

The environmental health officer inspecting a business will work out and award for an overall Food Hygiene Rating based across three different areas, which are:


  1. Confidence in Management –  How the business manages and records its procedures to make sure food is safe.
  2. Hygiene Practices – How hygienically the food is handled, prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored.
  3. Structure – The condition, layout and structure of the building- including the cleanliness, lighting, ventilation. pest control as well as other facilities and amenities.

Unfortunately, although many businesses have the potential to be awarded a very good rating, they don’t actually achieve it because of a failure to develop, implement, and adhere to some very straightforward procedures. Based on our experience, these are the eight most common reasons why businesses fail to achieve a very good food hygiene rating:

  1. No documented food safety management system or specific HACCP’s for risky foods in place
  2. Failure to manage an existing food safety management system actively and diligently
  3. Lack of knowledge in regard to foot safety and cutting corners
  4. Lack of staff training
  5. Poor hygiene habits of food handlers
  6. Dirty kitchens from poor cleaning
  7. Evidence of pests especially rats and mice due to poor cleaning practices
  8. Poor cross contamination habits

We have an excellent track record for achieving a 5 star food hygiene rating forom a low rating for our clients and teach and support them on how to maintain it. If you would like help implementing a bespoke food safety management system for your business, or help in achieving a 5 star food hygiene rating contact Sylvia Anderson at Sylvia A Consultancy where we would be happy to help and support your business.