How to get a good food hygiene rating

Your businesses food hygiene rating is based on three criteria:

  1. Food hygiene and safety
  2. Structure and facilities                            
  3. Confidence in management


All businesses are capable of achieving the top rating. You should look at your last inspection report and make sure that you have done everything required on that report. You can also use the checklist below as a guide.

This checklist may not cover everything but is a guide for you to use. Further information can be obtained from Scarborough Borough Council Food Safety team on 01723 232323 or via our online contact form.

 Food hygiene and safety

Is food stored at the correct temperature?

  • 8°C or below in the fridge
  • 63°C or above for hot holding
Do you check these temperatures?
Do you store raw foods and ready to eat foods separately? (raw below ready to eat)
Do you use separate, easily identifiable containers for storing raw and ready to eat foods? 
Do you keep foods covered?
Do you date label foods and use within the correct use-by date?
Do you have separate areas for preparing raw and ready to eat foods?
Do you use separate colour-coded chopping boards and utensils for raw and ready to eat foods?
Are work surfaces disinfected using a BSEN approved product using a two-stage clean and the correct contact time?
Do you have separate colour-coded cloths for cleaning raw and ready to eat surfaces and equipment or do you use disposable cloths?
Do you boil wash any re-usable cloths?

Do you maintain good personal hygiene?


  • Hand washing using hot and cold or warm water, liquid soap and paper towels
  • Clean protective clothing
  • Staff with sickness &/or diarrhoea stay off work for 48 hours after symptoms have stopped
Do you check that food is adequately cooked e.g. by using a probe to check that it reaches 75°C?
Is food cooled within 1 ½ hours before being covered, dated and put in the fridge or freezer?
Do you defrost food in the fridge?

Structure and facilities 

Is the structure of the kitchen and food storage areas in good condition?
Are surfaces made of materials which are easy to clean?
Are surfaces and equipment clean?
Do you have a hand wash basin in the kitchen which is easily accessible to food handlers?
Does the hand wash basin have hot and cold or warm running water, liquid soap and paper towels?
Is there good lighting in the kitchen and storerooms?
Is there good ventilation in the kitchen to remove heat and grease?
Are there sinks for washing equipment and food and do these have hot water?
If you use a dishwasher does the water reach 80°C? 
Have you made sure that pests e.g. flies and rats/mice cannot get access into your premises?
Is the bin area clean?
Do the bins have lids and is all rubbish contained inside the bins?
Do staff have somewhere to change and leave their clothes?
Is there a lobby between the toilet and any food rooms? ( Doors must be closed and no food stored in the toilet or lobby)

Confidence in management

Have you registered your business with Scarborough Borough Council?
Have you completed a written food safety management system, for example, Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB)?
If using SFBB are all the sections complete and up to date, including the daily diary sheets?
Do you check daily fridge/freezer and cooked/reheated food temperatures?
Do you keep records of your fridge, freezer, cooked and reheated food temperatures?
Do you have procedures in place to take action when something goes wrong and do you record these? (e.g. if food in the fridge is  too warm)
Are all your staff trained?
Do staff know about the food safety management system e.g. SFBB, where to find it and how to complete it?