East Lothian Council

Food Hygiene Information System

What is the Food Hygiene Information Scheme?

Food Hygiene Information System logoThe Food Hygiene Information Scheme is designed to provide 'at a glance' information about the outcome of local authority food hygiene inspections. The scheme provides businesses with a certificate for display at their premises. A 'Pass' certificate confirms that a food business has been inspected by their local authority and has met the required legal standards.

An 'Awaiting Inspection' certificate is provided for new businesses that have not yet been inspected.

If a food business falls short of the legal standard it is classified as 'Improvement Required'.

The display of a certificate by a business is voluntary but you can access full information about all food businesses where the scheme is operated on the Food Standards Agency website. 

In areas where the scheme is operated by a local authority it applies to catering and retail businesses in these areas.

The scheme was initially developed by the Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS) and has the support and backing of consumer organisations and industry.

When are businesses inspected?

Food Hygience Information SchemeThe scheme is based on the food hygiene inspections routinely carried out by local authority Environmental Health Services. The length of time between inspections is governed by national standards and varies widely depending on factors that include the type of operation and the findings of previous inspections. A 'Pass' classification is valid until the next inspection.

Why have a scheme?

In 2004 Consumer Focus Scotland called for a scheme to make inspection information available following their research on the views of environmental health and food safety officers. The FSAS Consumer Attitudes Survey in 2005 showed that many respondents were concerned with hygiene in food outlets.

This research together with the Freedom of information legislation and discussions with stakeholders led to the development of the Food Hygiene Information Scheme which is designed to improve consumer confidence, give clear information and help you make informed choices about the places where you can purchase food.

Does it guarantee I won't get food poisoning?

A 'Pass' certificate indicates the business had appropriate food hygiene measures in place at the time of their last food hygiene inspection. However, as so many factors can contribute to food poisoning, there cannot be an absolute guarantee.

John Muir House, Haddington, EH41 3HA

Telephone: 01620 827365

East Lothian Council, John Muir House Brewery Park Haddington East Lothian EH41 3HA.