A Food Business Operator’s (FBO’s) ultimate objective is producing delicious food to keep customers coming back and hence must never forget about procedures and rules mandated by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Association of India). In line with the FSSAI standards, Score on the Doors (Food Hygiene Rating) Scheme offers FBOs a fantastic opportunity to show their customers how seriously they take food hygiene and the results they have achieved by displaying a food hygiene-rating certificate & sticker on their doors. Rohit Joshi, Head, Business Development-Score on the Doors speaks on how food hygiene ratings are done….
The ratings has been designed so that all FBOs, no matter how small, can achieve the top rating by meeting the Score on the Doors requirements. Any improvements that businesses need to make to get a higher rating are no more than what is already required by FSSAI. It gives customers an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen and at their favourite food outlet.
How Score on the Doors Rating Works?
The FBO will be given a rating following a planned inspection by a food safety officer. The rating depends on the standards of hygiene found at the time of the inspection. The business can be given one of six ratings. These are on a scale from ‘0’ at the bottom, which means that urgent improvement is necessary, to ‘5’ at the top, which means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. The rating given will depend upon:
- Food Hygiene Practices: How hygienically the food is handled, the food preparation; that is cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.
- Structural Condition: The condition of the structure, including the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, pest controls, and other maintenance activities.
- Confidence in Management: How the business manages the risk; what it does to make sure food is safe and confidence that there will be continually improvement of the operations, performances, and hygiene standards to react to future challenges.
- Food Safety Management System (FSMS): FSMS provides a preventative approach to identify, prevent and reduce food-borne hazards through Food Safety Policy & Manual, documented procedure, HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and other safe systems of work. This is to minimize the risk of food poisoning and to make food safe for consumption.
Each of the four elements is essential for making sure that food hygiene standards meet the requirements and the food served is safe for consumers to eat.
Calculating your score:
The inspecting officer will use the standardised assessment checklist to conduct the inspection. The checklist is design to assess compliance, and features a points system from which a hygiene and food safety score will be determined. The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are then rated on a scale. After the officer completes the inspection checklist, points are tallied and a score is assigned. The hygiene scoring scale is:
««««« Very Good: The highest expected level of hygiene and food safety practices. Very good hygiene and food safety practices found.
««««Good: Some minor areas need to be addressed to get a higher result.
««« Generally Satisfactory: Satisfactory standard of hygiene & food safety; though some non-critical areas need attention to get a higher result.
««Improvement Necessary: Some good practices followed; others require major improvement and non-critical areas need attention to get higher results.
«Major Improvement Necessary: Food Safety practices not followed and major improvements required to maintain safe food.
(0) Urgent Improvement Necessary: Food is unsafe for consumer use; Urgent improvements required to bring the premises, and food practices to standard requirement.
At the end of food safety and hygiene inspections, each business participating in scheme will receive a score and be offered a certificate showing its star rating; if the score is sufficient (Food Hygiene Rating 3, 4 & 5) will be offered a sticker. This is for display
in a prominent, public position such as a front window and can give FBO a point of difference from their competitors.
“Telling your customers about your hygiene standards in your food outlets gives them greater choice and the power to vote with their feet – they are able to choose to eat at the places with the highest standards and avoid those that don’t meet the grade or with no systems in place.”