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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
This scheme helps you to choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways, cafes, supermarkets etc.
Businesses are encouraged to display the sticker showing their hygiene rating but it is not currently a legal requirement.
There are currently some 2,500 food businesses in Newcastle. Inspections are undertaken by Environmental Health Officers from the Food Safety service, with the frequency of visits depends on the nature of the business and the condition of the premises. Visits are carried out without prior notification.
All inspections are carried out in accordance with the Food Standard Agency's Code of Practice to ensure compliance with food law.
Following a Food Hygiene inspection that has resulted in a Food Hygiene Rating score of less than 5, a business may request a re-scoring revisit when the improvements identified have been made. This will usually take place between 3 and 6 months after the original inspection. However, an early reassessment can take place, though this service attracts a fee of £160.
Enforcement action and policy
Food safety advice will be given by the Environmental Health Officer at the time of the inspection. Contraventions will be discussed with the Food Business Operator if improvements are required and it may be necessary a formal notice to make the business improve in some situations. If an officer identifies a serious problem, where there is an imminent risk to public health, for example, a serious pest infestation or where there is a significant risk of food becoming contaminated, then it may be necessary to close a business until the risk is removed.
Certain situations may result in prosecution; in making a decision to take enforcement action consideration is always given to the Service's Enforcement Policy.
Food Safety service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Phone (0191) 2116102. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org