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Fast Food Hygiene Ratings – How To Get 5 Stars

By Stephanie Lowndes on September 9th, 2022

Whether you run a pizza shop, cafe or fried chicken takeaway, one of your priorities is how to get a 5-star hygiene rating for your establishment. Getting a 5-star food hygiene rating can help to boost your reputation in the local community and bring more customers to your door.

There are a few things you need to be a success as a fast food retailer apart from a delicious, high-quality menu. These include impeccable customer service, fast food restaurant insurance, a 5-star food hygiene rating, and a horde of hungry customers.

What Is A Food Hygiene Rating?

Your local council will award your fast food business with a food hygiene rating after you have had an official food safety inspection from one of their representatives. The food safety inspection is a way to check that your business follows UK food hygiene laws to ensure your food is safe to eat.

The food hygiene rating you are awarded will reflect the hygiene standards found by your inspector at the time of their visit. This is why keeping on top of your cleaning and maintenance tasks is essential to ensure your premises comply with your food safety requirements.

After the inspection, the food safety officer will give your business one of the following ratings:

5 – hygiene standards are very good
4 – hygiene standards are good
3 – hygiene standards are generally satisfactory
2 – some improvement is necessary
1 – major improvement is necessary
0 – urgent improvement is required

What Properties Need Hygiene Ratings?

It is not just fast food shops and takeaways that need hygiene inspections and ratings. Any business that is actively involved in selling food and hot drinks needs to be inspected to ensure their premises meet food safety regulations and that all food preparation staff follow proper food handling safety and hygiene practices.

Businesses that need food hygiene ratings include:

  • Canteens & Hotels
  • Fast Food Takeaways, Stalls & Vans
  • Restaurants, Pubs & Cafes
  • Schools, Hospitals, Care Homes
  • Supermarkets and some corner shops

What Do Fast Food Hygiene Inspectors Look For?

At the time of your inspection, the food safety officer will check many things on your premises. The following are taken into consideration when food hygiene ratings are given:

  • How your business handles food and what food safety controls are in operation – how you prepare, cook, reheat, cool and store food.
  • How your business manages the safety of food, including processes, training and systems to ensure you maintain good hygiene in the future
  • The physical condition of the business – the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, pest control and other facilities

Some food businesses are exempt from the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. These tend to be businesses that pose a low risk to public health, for example, newsagents, chemist shops and visitor centres that only sell pre-packaged, shelf-stable food and drink products that don’t need refrigeration or special handling.

How To Get A 5 Star Hygiene Rating For Fast Food Takeaway

How to get a 5-star food hygiene rating as quickly and efficiently as possible will depend on how you score over several food safety elements. To get the maximum rating, your fast food business must do well in five key parts of the inspection.

1: Food Storage
2: Food Preparation
3: Staff Training
4: Cleaning
5: Detailed Record Keeping

Once your food hygiene inspector has visited your premises, they will award you a rating from zero to five, five being the highest food hygiene rating that can be granted.

You are legally required to display your food hygiene-rating certificate in a public place where customers can easily see it as they enter your premises. In most cases, a fast food shop will display its certificate on the front door or in the shop window.

You should also update your business website and social media pages to inform your customers what food hygiene rating you scored. Many customers will check your food hygiene rating before buying from you, so it can help to be as open and transparent as possible about your score.

Your customers will also be able to check your food hygiene ratings online. You should be proud of your 5-star food rating and use it to help raise awareness of your fast food business in your local community.

Help with meeting food safety laws

Your local council can help you understand your responsibilities and how to set up your food business in the most effective way.

Nothing is worse than launching a new fast food venture and getting a poor food hygiene rating. It can help to work with your local food safety officer, who will be able to tell you how to improve your premises, brush up on your food hygiene training and certification, and give you practical advice that will help you achieve the top food hygiene rating.

The Food Standards Agency has a range of tools, such as the Safe Catering Guide and Safer Food, Better Business pack, which can help businesses manage food hygiene. It also provides general guidance on food hygiene and food law inspection.

How often are food businesses inspected?

Your local council will conduct regular inspections of food businesses in the local area. How often they will decide to visit to conduct an inspection will depend on how much risk your business poses to public health.

Those fast food businesses deemed to present a greater health risk to the public will be inspected more often. This is to help local food retailers keep on top of their responsibilities under UK food safety laws.

Should you receive a poor food hygiene rating, you can appeal the decision with your local council and request a re-inspection from your local food safety officer.

Why is fast food restaurant insurance important?

Fast food restaurant insurance should be considered essential protection for your growing business, your staff and customers, your tools and equipment, and your own peace of mind.

Providing food and drink to the public is a business that comes with many risks. You must protect your fast food shop or takeaway from claims of customer food poisoning to your premises being damaged by flooding or fire.

Food poisoning claims are one of the most common issues that fast food vendors experience. If a customer claims food poisoning, you will be covered by your public liability insurance. Even if you don’t believe the incident was your fault, you will still need to defend yourself. Your insurance will cover the costs of defending your business and any legal expenses or settlements you make.

Even poor customer reviews and defamatory reports created by your direct competitors must be covered by professional indemnity insurance. It would help if you also considered how any business interruption would affect your bottom line. A devastating fire or flood may put your shop out of action for a long time, so ensuring you have every eventuality covered will give you great peace of mind knowing you are protected.


No matter what food and drinks you sell as a fast food retailer, your customers will feel more confident about buying from a food vendor with a 5-star food hygiene rating.

It can help to work with your local council and food inspection officers to make your fast food premises as clean and safe as possible to make sure you score five stars for your establishment. Are you aware of the potential risks your business faces? Talk to our business insurance specialists at Brisco Business to assess your needs.

Stephanie Lowndes

Stephanie is a digital marketing masters graduate with extensive customer service experience gained in the retail and hospitality sectors. Stephanie is currently a marketing executive at Brisco Business.

All articles by Stephanie Lowndes

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