Response to enquiry about 'component scores' held on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) database

The Food Standards Agency is publishing its response to an enquiry, handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, asking for information on the 'component scores' held on the FHRS database.

The ‘component scores’ are the numerical values assigned by a local authority food safety officer when inspecting a food business to check that it meets the requirements of food hygiene law. This is then used to determine the FHRS rating given to the business. More information about 'component scores' can be found via a link below. The numerical values are assigned in accordance with the Food Law Code of Practice which food safety officers follow when undertaking inspections. The Code of Practice can be found via a link below.

The FSA has so far not provided details of the ‘component scores’ at www.food.gov.uk/ratings. However, the Agency plans to make these available via the application programming interface so that they will be available routinely. The scores will not, at this stage, be published on the consumer-facing website.

We consider it essential that if this information is to be supplied in this way to consumers, that it is provided in a way that is meaningful, useful and that will not confuse them. Work on exploring how this might be achieved is not yet been completed.

The data released in response to the Freedom of Information request is in the Excel spreadsheets provided below. The names and addresses of businesses are not included. However, local authority business IDs are provided. These may be matched with published FHRS data, where this exists, through the open data facility at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.