Changes to Food Hygiene Rating Scheme inspections

From 1 September 2017 South Oxfordshire District Council is changing how food premises inspections are carried out. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, which replaced ‘Scores on the Doors’ in April 2012, publishes hygiene ratings for food premises so that you can be more informed about where you eat and buy from.

Originally the council could take up to six months before carrying out a ‘rescore’ inspection, which is usually requested by a premises which scored poorly and wishes to improve its rating. This time is being reduced from six months to a maximum of three, to avoid penalising traders who have made the effort to improve quality.

All requested visits will cost £160, and there’s no limit to the number of re-visits requested. However, to avoid paying for multiple inspections, businesses should address any issues before they make their first request.

The results of their inspections are available online, with venues in England, Northern Ireland and Wales ranging from restaurants, cafes, takeaways, delicatessens and shops to care homes, hotels and pubs given a rating between one and five stars, based on several factors.


During a re-inspection the food safety officer will check the overall standards of the premises, not just the specific areas of concern from the initial inspection – this means a hygiene rating could go up, down or remain the same.

Non-requested revisits

When food safety officers make a non-requested visit to check that a business has carried out improvements required following an initial inspection, this visit will remain free of charge but will not involve any re-scoring of the hygiene rating.

Did you know?

If you are starting up a new food business or taking over an existing one, you must register with the Food and Safety team at least 28 days before opening.

For more information and advice on the scheme, or starting up a new food business, please contact SODC’s Food and Safety Team.