Food business - food safety inspection

The Council carries out regular checks on all food premises to ensure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained. 

Visits to premises are carried out, as far as possible, without prior notification and are priority programmed according to the degree of potential risk. This ensures that higher risk premises are visited more frequently than those in lower risk categories.  The majority of food businesses within Rhondda Cynon Taf are included in The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.  

Eating out? Getting food in? Check the food hygiene rating!

Image-of-a-rating-sticker-in-a-food-business-window

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps you choose where to eat out or shop for food. The scheme gives you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels, and other places you like to go to eat out, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

How does the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme work?

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council is implementing the scheme in accordance with the requirements of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013. This mandatory scheme has been developed by Welsh Government in collaboration with the Food Standards Agency and local authorities.  It will give you information about the hygiene standards in food premises at the time they are inspected by one of our food safety officers to check that they are meeting legal requirements on food hygiene. The hygiene rating given reflects what the officer finds at the time. 

It’s not easy to judge hygiene standards on appearance alone so the rating gives you an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors. You can check the ratings and use the information to choose a place with higher standards. It’s also good to share this information with friends and family. 

Why is the scheme important?

Providing information on hygiene standards in food outlets gives people a wider basis on which to make a choice.  It also recognises those businesses with the highest standards and encourages others to improve. The overall aim is to reduce the number of cases of food poisoning which currently affects around one million people in the UK every year.

The scheme in Wales is operated in accordance with the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 but the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme also runs in England and Northern Ireland, with the ratings being based on the same information. So the scheme helps local people and visitors when deciding where to eat and buy food, and means people can make a like for like comparison with businesses in other areas.

Which businesses are given a rating?

Restaurants, takeaways, cafés, sandwich shops, pubs, hotels, supermarkets and other retail food outlets, as well as other businesses where consumers can eat or buy food, are given a hygiene rating as part of the scheme.

How is the rating calculated?

Each business is given a rating following an inspection by a food safety officer. This is based on how well the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law at that time. The assessment is based on a consideration of the following three elements -

  •  how hygienically the food is handled - safe food preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
  •  the condition of the structure of the premises - cleanliness, repair, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities
  •  how the business manages what it does to make sure food is safe and if the officer can be confident standards will be maintained in the future.

Each of these three elements is essential for making sure that food hygiene standards meet requirements and the food served or sold to you is safe to eat. 

The rating is only about the hygiene standards of the food business - it is not about the quality of the food or about the standards of service provided to customers.

What are the different ratings?

The food hygiene rating reflects the hygiene standards found at the time the business is inspected by a food safety officer. These officers are specially trained and qualified to assess food hygiene standards.

A business is given one of these ratings:

Food hygiene rating is '0': Urgent improvement necessary Food hygiene rating is '1': Major improvement necessary Food hygiene rating is '2': Improvement necessary  

Food hygiene rating is '3': Generally satisfactory Food hygiene rating is '4': Good Food hygiene rating is '5': Very good

All businesses should be able achieve the top rating of 5. 

The rating given shows how well the business is doing overall but also takes account of the element or elements most in need of improving and also the level of risk to people’s health that these issues pose. This is because some businesses will do well in some areas and less well in others but each of the three elements checked is essential for making sure that food hygiene standards meet requirements and the food served or sold to you is safe to eat.

To get the top rating of ‘5’, businesses must do well in all three elements.

Those with ratings of ‘0’ are very likely to be performing poorly in all three elements and are likely to have a history of serious problems.   There may, for example, be a lack of sufficient cleaning and disinfection, and the system of management in place may not be enough to ensure the food is always kept safe. 

Where a business does not achieve the top rating, the food safety officer will explain to the person that owns or manages the business what improvements are needed. 

What can businesses do to improve if they need to?

Business owners and managers can find out more about what they need to do to achieve the highest rating by contacting a member of the council's Food and Health and Safety Team.  The  contact details for the council's Food and Health and Safety Team can be found below.

Where will the food hygiene rating be displayed?

Businesses are given a sticker showing their rating and those who receive a ‘new’ rating sticker that includes the Welsh Government logo from 28 November will have to display it in a prominent place – such as the front door or window – and at all customer entrances and provide information on their rating verbally if asked.

You can search for ratings for local businesses and for businesses across Wales, and also in England and Northern Ireland. A similar scheme – the Food Hygiene Information Scheme - operates in Scotland and details can be also be found on this website.   You can look up food hygiene ratings at food.gov.uk/ratings

Where can I get further information?

You can read about the scheme on the Food Standard Agency’s website .

Healthy Options Award

Catering premises with a Food Hygiene Rating score of 3 or above are eligible to take part in the all Wales Healthy Options Award. For more information on the Award visit the Healthy Options Award page

Contact details

Food and Health and Safety Team,
Public Health and Protection,
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council,
Ty Elai,
Dinas Isaf East,
Williamstown,
Tonypandy
CF40 1NY

Telephone: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 425301
Email: food.healthandsafety@rctcbc.gov.uk