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Food outlets to be rated for hygiene

 
Created on 01/04/2011 @ 16:19
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Food outlets are to be rated for their hygiene from today as Powys County Council introduces a new scheme that will allow customers to see how good the business is when it comes to hygiene.

The council is introducing the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) across the county, which will better inform customers of the hygiene standards of food outlets.

This national scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities, provides information on food hygiene standards to help people to choose where to eat out or shop for food.

Food outlets, such as restaurants, takeaways and pubs, are inspected by the council’s food safety officers to check that their hygiene standards meet legal requirements.

From today, hygiene standards found at these inspections are rated on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom, which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’, to a top rating of five, which means very good.

These ratings will be available for anyone to view on the FSA website at
food.gov.uk/ratings and the food business will be given a sticker and certificate and encouraged to display these at the entrance to their premises. This means that their customers can easily see them and decide if they want to go in.

Steve Clinton, the council’s Public Protection Manager, said: “We have introduced the FHRS in Powys as we can see the benefits for local food businesses and the people that eat and shop in them. The public will be able to use the ratings when deciding which outlets to visit and we hope that food companies will recognise that displaying a good hygiene rating is good for business. When customers expect to see a rating, there is a real incentive for food businesses to seek to make improvements to their hygiene standards.”

Rob Wilkins who heads up the General Enforcement Team at the FSA in Wales said, “It is great news that Powys County Council will be using the FHRS.  Around one million people suffer from food poisoning every year, and our aim in introducing the scheme is to reduce this. The ratings will give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop, before they make their decision about which place they prefer to visit.”

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