What is the purpose of requested revisits?
You will automatically be given a new food hygiene rating each time your premises are inspected by your local authority - the frequency of these planned inspections depends on the risk to people’s health. The greater the risk, the more often you will be inspected.
If you make the improvements to hygiene standards that the local authority food safety officer told you about at your last planned inspection you can ask for a revisit before the next planned inspection so that the hygiene standards in your premises can be reassessed with a view to giving you a new and higher food hygiene rating.
Is there anything I should do before making a request for a revisit?
You are recommended to look carefully at the comments that the food safety officer made about the hygiene standards found at your last inspection in the report or letter you were given and make sure that you have taken appropriate action to address any issues raised. You can discuss anything you are unsure about with your food safety officer or ask for further help on how to make improvements.
This is important because you can only have one revisit between the local authority’s planned inspections of your premises. The officer will be looking at standards generally - not just at the specific areas you have been working to improve - so your hygiene rating could well go down and not up and you will not be able to get a new rating then until your next planned inspection which may not be for some time.
What should I do if I want to request a revisit?
You should put your request in writing (you can send an email) 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, or you can use the standard revisit request form (PDF: 198Kb / 1 page).
You must explain what actions you have taken on the issues raised at your last inspection and you should include supporting evidence, for example, receipts or photographs to show that work has been completed. This is important as the local authority could refuse your request if you do not provide sufficient information and evidence.
If the request is refused you will be given an explanation of why and advice on any action you need to take or evidence you need to provide before your request can be agreed. If you do not agree with the local authority’s decision to refuse your request, you can raise the matter with the lead officer for food. If you cannot resolve matters with the lead officer for food, you can use the complaints procedure for your local authority, details of which may be found on the authority’s website.
How long do I have to make my request?
There is no deadline for this - you can ask at any time after you’ve taken action to make the necessary improvements that were identified at your inspection. You cannot, however, dictate when the revisit will take place.
How soon will the local authority visit?
Usually, the revisit will not take place in the first three months following the inspection at which you were given your food hygiene rating. If, however, you were required only to make structural improvements or repairs or to upgrade equipment, your local authority may choose to carry out the requested revisit sooner than this.
If you make your request during those first three months, you can expect a revisit within six months of the inspection but you will not be told a specific date and time.
If you make your request later than three months after your inspection, you can expect a revisit within three months but again you will not be told a specific date and time.
If you are still waiting for a revisit after these times, you can ask the lead officer for food to investigate. If you cannot resolve matters in this way, you can use the complaints procedure for your local authority, details of which may be found on the authority’s website.
What happens next and when will I know the result of the revisit?
At the revisit, the food safety officer will assess the standards of hygiene at your premises and you will be told in writing - either at the time or within fourteen days (this includes weekends and bank holidays) - what your new food hygiene rating is. This could stay the same as before, it could go up, or it could down.
As with the original hygiene rating, you can appeal this if you think it is wrong or unfair or you can submit a ‘right to reply’ for publication online at food.gov.uk/ratings.
Will the revisit cost me anything?
Not at the moment but it is possible that this may change in the future.
Food Standards Agency website ratings.food.gov.uk/