How to achieve a five star food hygiene rating

food hygiene rating

The hospitality industry has been through the wringer. We’ve survived endless lockdowns. Adapted to regulations. Even served sausage rolls on the street to loyal punters.

But there’s one more hurdle before our big comeback.

People are more safety-conscious than ever. 85% are now aware of their favourite eateries’ hygiene standards, with 2 in 3 customers looking out for a score on the door.

In 2021, having a stella hygiene score is a must.

Read on to guarantee top marks in our simple guide to food hygiene.

What is a food hygiene rating?

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is a system used by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Using a straightforward 0-5 score, a food hygiene rating demonstrates a venue’s safety standards. This includes everything from safe food handling to general cleanliness.

Displaying your rating is a legal requirement for all food-handling businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland - and it won’t be long before it’s compulsory in England too.

Scotland, however, have their own version of the Food Standards Agency ratings. Rather than a mark out of 5, venues either pass or fail. A bit like your Theory Test.

So what do the FSA ratings mean?

Food hygiene ratings explained:

The hygiene rating scores are pretty clear - and a simple way of illustrating your cleanliness to your customers:

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

#How to get a food hygiene rating of 5

There are five must cover areas to achieve a level 5 hygiene rating:

Food preparation

Avoid cross contamination during your food prep with the following measures:

  • Always keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate - this includes raw veggies that haven’t been washed or cooked
  • Use colour-coded chopping boards to help achieve a 5 star hygiene rating
  • For larger kitchens, dedicate separate sinks or workspaces for raw fish, meat, vegetables and ready-to-eat foods
  • For smaller spaces, establish a food preparation schedule where different ingredients are prepped at different points in the day, ensuring ready-to-eat foods are first
  • Make sure all areas and utensils are cleaned thoroughly between each stage of preparation

Food storage

  • Avoid common errors by storing raw and ready-to-eat foods separately
  • Ensure you have a labelled storage system with clearly displayed use-by-dates
  • Never store food on the floor, always use racks


  • It might seem obvious to talk about cleaning in a post-pandemic world, but you can never be too cautious when it comes to a sanitised workspace.
  • Stick to a strict cleaning schedule where each task is broken down to ensure you clean in a consistent manner
  • Keep a sanitised sink dedicated to handwashing and stock up on blue hand roll and antibacterial soap
  • Clean work surfaces regularly and deep clean fridges at the end of each month

Staff training

  • Training your staff on safe food handling and preparation is key to receiving your 5 star food and hygiene certificate. This should also include:
  • Food hygiene, personal hygiene and hand washing practices
  • HACCP system training; risk management and preventing hazards
  • Codes of practice, responsibilities and procedures

Record keeping

  • When it comes to food hygiene, the proof is in the pudding - you must maintain a secure record of each step:
  • Keep records of your Food Safety Policy, risk assessments and staff training
  • Ensure all records are up-to-date and documented
  • Provide daily check sheets for fridge and freezer temperatures, food temperatures, kitchen cleaning and deliveries

The above steps can seem intimidating. There’s a lot to remember. And even the most organised would struggle to keep on top of that pile of paperwork.Hopsy takes the headache out of your food safety management. With full online operation tools, cleaning checklists and real time reports, you can rest easy knowing your hygiene is up to scratch before your next inspection.

5 ways Hopsy can help you achieve a 5 star food hygiene rating

  • Clear cleaning schedules with outlined duties that get the job done and provide proof of compliance
  • Access records at any time - policies, procedures and compliance checklists all stored in one place
  • Complete peace of mind with real time reporting that give you oversight of multiple venues - spot and fix a potential issue before it becomes a cause for concern
  • Staff training and management - support for your team straight from the get go with in-app training and timekeeping
  • In-built HACCP system - A new feature coming to Hopsy! With everything from temperature checks to kitchen checklists, Hopsy will have all the HACCP documents you need to get a 5 star hygiene rating

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