Food hygiene

Ratings and inspections

Routine food hygiene inspections are carried out by Environmental Health Officers. Whilst officers are there to assess the food hygiene standards, it is also a great opportunity for food business operators to receive bespoke advice on site. The inspection frequency is determined by the code of practice, and regular checks take place to ensure the public are protected, and that high standards are maintained.

Environmental Health Officers carry out regular inspections of food businesses in Watford to:

  • Check food businesses are complying with the law.
  • Check food has been hygienically prepared and is safe to eat.
  • Advise food proprietors on good practice.

Inspections cover three main areas:

  • How hygienically food is prepared, cooked, cooled, stored, and what measures are taken to prevent food being contaminated with bacteria.
  • The structure of the premises, including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, equipment and other facilities.
  • How food safety in the business is managed and what records are kept.

Following an inspection, we will award your business a food hygiene rating score under the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The premises is scored on food hygiene compliance, structural compliance, and confidence in management. The quality of the food provided is not rated.

The ratings are:

5: Very good
4: Good
3: Satisfactory
2: Improvement necessary
1: Major improvement necessary
0: Urgent improvement needed

You can view your rating online.

The purpose of the scheme is to provide the public with rating information to allow them to make an informed choice of where to eat, and to encourage food business to maintain high standards. More information on the ratings are available on the Food Standards Agency website.

To ensure that the scheme is fair to businesses, a number of safeguards have been included. Businesses can request a re-visit, when improvements have been made. There is also an appeals procedure, and a "right to reply" procedure.

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