National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme - Exemptions
Exempt or excluded businesses
Some types of premises are considered exempt from the national scheme. These are 'low-risk' establishments which are not generally recognised by consumers as being food businesses and certain establishments operating from private addresses.
'Low-risk' establishments are those where the primary business or activity is not food-related and they are not seen as food businesses by consumers as the food activity is only a small element of the businesses in comparison with its main activity. 'Low-risk' establishments include, for example:
- visitor centres and similar establishments selling tins of biscuits or other wrapped goods amongst a range of other goods;
- leisure centres with only food vending machines selling only drinks or low-risk foods;
- newsagents selling pre-packed confectionery; and
- chemist shops selling pre-packed confectionery and/or health foods
- Certain establishments operating from private addresses
The exemption of certain establishments operating from private addresses
This exemption is mainly for childminders, but also covers other establishments where caring services are being provided in the home environment. The 'exemption' does not cover home caterers. They will be given a score as consumers would very much expect them to be part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. However, their full address details will not be published.
Exempt premises 'opting in'
If the food business operator considers that consumers perceive their establishment to be a food business, the authority will agree to a request to provide a food hygiene rating for the establishment. This request must be made in writing by letter or email. This provides a safeguard to the operator where they consider that a lack of score is prejudicial to trade. This matter is to be kept under review by the FSA. The address for any correspondence is: Environmental Health, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8AY.
Businesses excluded from the National Scheme
Establishments that do not supply food direct to consumers are 'excluded' from the scope and will not receive a hygiene rating. This includes primary producers, manufacturers and packers, importers and exporters, distributors (including wholesalers, and other inter-business suppliers) and transporters.
Where wholesalers, for example, cash and carry's, are supplying food direct to consumers as well as to other businesses, they fall within the definition of scope and will be scored.
Excluded Businesses opting in to the National Scheme
Food business operators of 'excluded' establishments (such as manufacturers) may want to opt into the scheme. The FSA may extend the scheme in the future to accommodate all food businesses. Until this time, an excluded business cannot opt into the scheme.