Not happy with your food hygiene rating? Well now is your chance to change it.

Croydon Council has introduced a new scheme that will allow restaurants, take-aways, delicatessens and shops to pay for an immediate follow-up inspection if they are not leased with the rating they have been given.

Previously, businesses could only ask for a reinspection - following an unannounced inspection - after three months.

Andy Opie, director of safety, said a reinspection didn't necessarily equal a better rating.

“This new facility is a great chance for any food business that has had a disappointing rating following an inspection by one of our food safety team to have the business reassessed," he said.

“It’s important for them to remember, of course, that they will have had to have undertaken any work recommended by the inspector, and that the work meets the required standard.

"A rating can go down, as well as up, so it’s important the work is satisfactory.”

Croydon’s food safety team carries out a risk-based programme of food-hygiene inspections to ensure that food sold to the public is safe to consume.

Most food businesses are part of the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme – operated by the Food Standards Agency. Following inspection, businesses are allocated a rating between 0 and 5, where 5 is very good.