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Food hygiene rating scheme

This page provides information to food businesses in the New Forest on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS). The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme enables customers to make informed choices about the standard of hygiene in the business where they eat out or shop for food. It also promotes high standards for food business operators. This is a national scheme operated by the Food Standards Agency, and New Forest District Council inspects and provides the rating to businesses in the local area.

If you are a local resident or visitor to the area you can find a food hygiene rating by following the link.

On this page:

Awarding your food hygiene rating

All food businesses are inspected by us to determine their food hygiene rating. Find out more about food hygiene inspections.

Some businesses are inspected more often than others. This is because they may present a greater risk to the health of the people consuming the food produced. You may be inspected every 6, 12, 18 or 24 months, depending upon the risk.

Following your inspection we will explain to you our findings, any matters which must be addressed, as well as the rating you have been awarded, and what you can do to improve the rating, if appropriate. Your business will be rated on a scale of 5 to 0 as follows.

  • 5 - very good.
  • 4 - good.
  • 3 - generally satisfactory.
  • 2 - some improvement is necessary.
  • 1 - major improvement is necessary.
  • 0 - urgent improvement is required.

You will be provided with a rating sticker to display on the window or door of your business, so that members of public can easily see the rating. You may also request a wall sticker if required.

At present, you do not have to display your rating. However, we encourage businesses to do so as a means of showing customers that the business has achieved a high level of compliance with food hygiene legislation. Most people will want to buy food where they can be confident it was produced under safe conditions.

Publishing your rating

If you are awarded a 5 or 4 rating, you will normally be provided with your sticker at the conclusion of the inspection. Ratings of 3, 2, 1 or 0 will always be awarded later; this is to enable us to verify the rating given on site. Your rating will subsequently be uploaded on to the national Food Standards Agency website

If you achieve a rating of 5, this may be published within a week of your inspection. If you achieve a rating between 4 and 0, it will be published up to five weeks (35 days) after inspection to allow for us to formally notify you of your rating and to give opportunity for an appeal to be submitted.

If your rating has improved since your previous inspection, you way wish for your rating to be published sooner. You can request that a rating is published before the end of the appeal period by downloading the form below.

Food Hygiene Rating Early Publication Application Form (Word doc) [60KB] (opens new window)

Complete the form and send it to us by email or post.

Appeal against your rating

If you believe that the rating you have been awarded is incorrect, you should first speak to the officer who undertook the inspection. The officer's details are on the 'visit report' left on-site and report letter which will be sent for all 3 and below rated inspections . The officer will be able to explain the reasons why the rating was given, confirm any matters that require attention and give advice about how you could improve the rating.

If, after speaking to the officer you still think that the rating is unfair or wrong, you can appeal the decision in writing. To submit an appeal, download the form below. You can also appeal by writing a formal letter.

Food Hygiene Rating Appeal Form (Word doc) [164KB] (opens new window)

Complete the form and send it to us by email or post.

You must ensure that you appeal within 21 days of being notified of your rating (including weekends and public holidays) - you may have been notified at the conclusion of our site inspection, or subsequently by letter. 

When we receive an appeal, it will be considered by a senior officer and you will be notified on the outcome and the reason for the decision reached. Your rating may either stay the same, or be altered following your appeal.

Request a re-inspection

If you are confident that you have carried out the necessary improvement works identified during your inspection, you may apply for a re-inspection which will generate a new food hygiene rating.

We charge £226 for a re-inspection. We charge as this is a service in addition to our legal responsibilities. Following receipt of payment, the re-inspection will be carried out within three months. You may apply for a re-inspection as many times as you require.

As this is essentially a new inspection, the rating could go up or down, depending on the findings at the re-inspection. If your business was awarded a very poor rating at the initial inspection, you may not be able to achieve the highest rating upon re-inspection.

To request a re-inspection of your business, please complete the following form and send it to us by email. We will then contact you to take payment if the re-inspection is accepted .

Food Hygiene Re-inspection Request Form (Word doc) [167KB] (opens new window)

Please note that a re-inspection is not the same as a revisit that we may choose to undertake. A revisit is a visit we make to confirm that you have done urgent necessary works, and it does not include the calculation of a new rating.

Right to reply

You have a right to reply to our decision regarding your rating. You can outline how you have improved the standard of hygiene, or explain any unusual circumstances at the time of inspection. Your reply will normally be published online alongside the rating. Submitting a right to reply does not result in a new food hygiene rating being issued.

To submit a reply, download the form below.

Food Hygiene Rating Right to Reply Form (Word doc) [142KB] (opens new window)

Complete the form and email it to

Contact us

For further information about the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, or to submit a form, use the details below.


Phone: 023 8028 5411

Food and Safety Team
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

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