UK 2016 Q4 Project: Food Hygiene Ratings

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The aim of this project is to use UK Food Hygiene Rating System data from the UK Food Standards Agency ( improve the density of POIs, addresses and postcodes in town centres.(Town centres are not exclusive - it's just they'll provide the most impact for users)

Contact with the Food Standards Agency

Jez Nicholson mentioned the quarterly project to Dr Sian Thomas, Head of Information Management at Food Standards Agency on Twitter. Her reaction was, "how exciting! When is it and how can we help?". They are keen advocates of open data. There is scope to involve them or get them to spread the word on OSM UK further.

There is an intention to feed back at the end of the project errors, typos, mismatches to the FSA or the appropriate local authorities en masse.

Suggested processes

User:SK53 suggests the following possibilities:

  • Actively survey retail areas using FHRS data to substantially enrich survey data with addresses etc. (In particular using FHRS can reduce the time needed for an initial survey). GPX waypoint files can be downloaded using this tool
  • Use unmapped FHRS postcodes to go where no-one has gone before. Outlying convenience stores in council estates, small parades of shops. Just a fleeting visit to such sites often helps get a better context for the whole area. (Ideally share photos etc., then others can learn this context too).
  • Use FHRS to enrich existing data, adding additional detail to what is already mapped

Multiple food hygiene ratings for a location

A recent trend for pubs is to put their food business out to a third party. This means that the Food Standards Agency has records for:

  • the pub "wet sales"
  • the kitchen franchise

We even found a pub that has a different franchisee for Sunday lunches, so has three fhrs:ids.

As OSM is a map of ground truth we wouldn't create an extra location for the kitchen. The pub serves the food, we can't distinguish between their franchise arrangements. The multiple fhrs:ids should be an attribute on the pub point or polygon, entered with a semi-colon separator.

e.g. The Dover Castle, Southover Street, Brighton. fhrs:id 803241;920143

It's not so different from the church hall which has it's own fhrs entry, but separate ones for the playgroup & the Wednesday OAP lunch club; or the school with entries for breakfast & after-school clubs.



the minimum requirement to link to the FHRS dataset is fhrs:id

  • where an establishment has two ids use a semi-colon separator, e.g. fhrs:id 12345;12346


the tool encourages addition of addr:postcode

  • postcode should be obtained/cross-referenced with fhrs data from a second source such as the establishment's web site
  • fhrs and web sites could still include errors, but are in active use

Other address data

The FHRS data usually contains other details of the address.So this can be tagged with the appropriate addr:* tags. eg addr:housenumber, addr:housename, addr:street, addr:city

transient data

we agreed to not put transient data from the fhrs dataset into OSM, e.g. the star rating, although the OSM wiki mentions a tag.


  • The FHRS/OSM comparison tool developed by gregrs is an open source project on github therefore you can raise issues or enhancements and people as well as gregrs can make improvements. We do not expect gregrs to do all the changes himself.
  • GPX files can be downloaded from the FHRS/OSM comparison tool to assist with surveying
  • We could semi-automate the process if someone wants to build on the code developed by Christian Ledermann for schools (We might even be very daring and completely automate it! That would certainly accelerate our completion of UK postcode data which according to Jerry's current estimate of completion will take 2-3 decades)
  • The Food Standards Agency site has a Search for food hygiene ratings

Progress tracking

  • Progress graph
    Progress in the percentage of FHRS establishments matched during the project
    The daily summary html page
  • CSV files for each day show completeness statistics for each district and could be used to plot day-by-day progress
  • Graphs showing completeness and progress statistics

Previous projects

See the list of UK Quarterly Projects