Inspection reports for food establishments

Since 2001, the smiley scheme has been informing consumers and increasing the compliance with regulations of food companies – thus increasing food safety.

Available to consumers

In Denmark, all food establishments are responsible for complying with the food regulations. All shops, restaurants and other establishments selling foods and beverages are subject to inspections by The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration. The resulting inspection reports are available to consumers.

The three smiley's

For a food establishment in the retail sector, the result of an inspection is summarised in one of three smiley's. The three different smiley's signal how well the enterprise complies with food regulations. For food establishments including wholesalers producing and selling food to other establishments, the inspection results are numbers between 1 and 4. This is an overview of the inspection results and sanctions:

Overview of the inspection results and sanctions an a scala from 1 to 4 resulting in 3 different Smileys.

Retail sector

In the retail sector, a smiley label with one of the three smiley's are handed out after inspection and must be displayed for consumers to read before they decide to enter a shop or a restaurant. The report with a smiley must be made easily available on the enterprises' own websites. Examples of food estalishments in the retail sector:

  • Restaurants
  • Supermarkets
  • Bakeries
  • Kiosks


All food establishments including wholesalers producing and selling food to other establishments must show the last four inspection reports at their website. Examples of wholesalers:

  • Dairies
  • Slauhterhouses
  • Importers

Purpose of the smiley scheme

There are three main purposes of the smiley scheme:

  1. To inform how well establishments comply with the rules and regulations, so consumers can make an informed choice of where to purchase food
  2. To give establishments an incentive to stay on their tiptoes – thus increasing food safety
  3. Fast publishing of results

It works

  • Virtually all consumers know of and appreciate the smiley scheme
  • A majority of consumers has declined a restaurant because of a negative smiley
  • Many companies take actions to improve standards and stay on their tiptoes to have a happy smiley
  • The scheme has improved uniformity and increased the quality of inspections and inspection reports
  • Inspectors say that compliance has increased because of the smiley

Inspection reports published

At the website, you can find inspection reports for all Danish food establishments and read more about the smiley scheme.

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