The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is led by the government in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland – which I recently wrote about here. However, in Scotland, they do things differently – their rating system is known as the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS). All food businesses in Scotland, including cafes, restaurants, takeaways, and so on need to have a food hygiene inspection, which, like in England, is undertaken by their Local Authority. You can apply online or via phone and it’s very easy to do. Following this inspection, the food outlet will be awarded a Food Hygiene Information Scheme rating based on their inspection results. The scheme covers more than 48,000 food outlets across all 32 Local Authorities in Scotland.
What are the three food hygiene ratings for Scotland? What do the FHIS ratings mean?
- Pass is a pass – this means the food business has met the legal requirements for food hygiene. This is the only score you need to achieve.
- Improvement Required means that the business did not meet the legal requirements and needs to make improvements immediately.
- Exempt Premises means that the business has been inspected by a local authority food safety officer and although they have achieved a pass, they don’t meet the criteria to be part of the (FHIS) scheme. The businesses exempt are ones you wouldn’t associate with a place that solely provides food; such as visitor centres, museums, playgroups, and newsagents – to name a few.
After an inspection
After the inspection by the Local Authority, businesses are then sent a certificate to display on the wall, or in the window of their business. This is great for being transparent with consumers – giving them the opportunity to make an informed choice about whether or not they want to eat there. Some businesses, for one reason or another, may choose to not display their rating on either their website or premises, but all ratings are displayed online for all to see.
What can I do before applying for the FHIS rating?
Prior to an inspection, you may want to refresh or retrain yourself or your employees. We have a variety of different online courses which can help with this. In particular, our Level Two Food Hygiene and Safety course is for those looking to take the next step in their education of food hygiene and is for those who work in the food industry and frequently handle food. Give yourself or your catering staff the essential knowledge in food hygiene and safety required by law, by booking this course today. Our high-quality courses are available at extremely competitive prices, and we offer discounts for bulk orders.
Visit essentialfoodhygiene.co.uk to find out more.