Food hygiene rating appeal

What is the purpose of the food hygiene rating appeal process?

Following a hygiene inspection of your premises by a food safety officer from your local authority you will be told in writing - either at the time or within fourteen days (this includes weekends and public holidays) - what your food hygiene rating is.

If you think that the rating is wrong or unfair - in other words it does not reflect the hygiene standards at the time of inspection - you can appeal against this.

What should I do if I want to appeal against my food hygiene rating?

It is a good idea to speak informally first of all to the food safety officer that undertook the inspection of your premises - you will be given the contact details for this officer when you are notified about your rating. This will help you to understand how your rating was worked out and to see if you can resolve the matter without having to appeal.

Following that, if you still think the rating given is wrong or unfair, you can lodge an appeal. To do this, you should complete the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme appeal form (PDF: 162Kb / 1 page) and send this to your local authority's lead officer for food - again you will be given the contact details for this officer when you are notified about your rating.

How long do I have to appeal?

You must lodge your appeal in writing, emails are excepted, within twenty one days, this includes weekends and public holidays. of being notified of your food hygiene rating. You will be told the deadline for appealing when you are notified about your rating.

If you do not appeal within this time, your local authority will publish your food hygiene rating online at

What happens next and when will I know the result?

If you lodge an appeal, will show that your food hygiene rating is 'awaiting publication'.

The lead officer for food or his/her deputy will review your case (in some circumstances a further visit to your premises may be required) and you will be notified of the result within a maximum of twenty one days from the date that the appeal was lodged and your hygiene rating will then be published online at

What if I don't agree with the outcome of the appeal?

You can challenge the local authority's decision by judicial review.


Food Standards Agency website

Last updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2021.