Local food businesses are regularly inspected by the Food Safety team, to check that all food/drink is handled and prepared safely. Higher risk businesses (i.e. Butchers) will be inspected more often than lower risk businesses (i.e. Cake makers).
After a premises has been inspected, an overall rating from zero (the worst, 'Urgent improvement needed’) to five (the best, ‘Excellent’) is awarded based on the food safety standards found at the time of the inspection.
The assessment criteria is broken down into three areas which relate to compliance with food law:
Food hygiene – this looks at the cleaning and food handling practices of the business. Storage conditions (including temperature controls and monitoring) are also considered as part of this area.
Structure and cleanliness – this looks at the repair of the business’ premises, equipment and overall cleanliness at the time of inspection.
Confidence in management – this looks at the record-keeping practices of the business and how potential risks to food safety in a business are controlled. It is also influenced by the inspecting officer making an assessment on the business’ management, when considering previous inspections and interactions.
The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service provided to customers - it is instead an indicator of the safety of the foods served.
To find the food hygiene ratings for food outlets in the Bath and North East Somerset area, you can visit the Food Standards Agency’s database of food businesses, and enter the business’ name and/or address.