• Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

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Eating Out – Ask Where’s the Sticker?

CaptureA green and black sticker bearing a large number five is a good indicator that the restaurant or food business in which it is displayed knows about good food hygiene and takes it seriously.

Anybody who enjoys eating out or getting a take-away should know that the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) makes a real difference in helping make a good choice. When you are choosing somewhere to eat with family and friends, you want to know that the business genuinely cares about its food hygiene.

Hambleton District Council’s food safety team are keen to get the message across and convince food establishments of the value of prominently displaying their food hygiene rating and are backing the Food Standards Agency’s ‘Where’s the sticker?’ campaign, starting next week. (8 February).

“It’s much harder to change your mind once you have sat down,” said Councillor Brian Phillips, Portfolio Holder for Environmental and Planning Services.

“No one likes unpleasant surprises when eating out or the social embarrassment of finding out the food business has poor food hygiene standards.

“The rating gives an insight into the parts of the business that often can’t be readily seen, such as the kitchen and storage areas, and means an informed choice about where to eat can be made, leaving you to concentrate on the other things that make for an enjoyable meal.

“Simply look for the green and black rating sticker on the window or door of the restaurant or eatery and if you don’t see one, ask what the rating is and where the sticker is.”

Local food safety officers inspect the businesses and rate them from 0 to 5, with 0 requiring urgent improvement and 5 being very good.  The scheme covers restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways and hotels as well as supermarkets and local food shops.

Across Hambleton, the council currently has 738 businesses registered on the ratings scheme with more premises being included every month. The majority score 3 or above with 477 scoring a 5. Only 33 businesses registered have a rating of 3 or below and officers are continuing to work hard with those businesses to encourage them to improve their rating.

Any food business, no matter how small can achieve the top rating of 5. A good rating is something to be proud of, so businesses should display their stickers telling customers that they take food hygiene seriously, and have nothing to hide.

Many businesses that are already displaying their rating at their premises say it has made a difference through improved reputation, increased customer confidence and more customers.

Ratings can be used in other ways to help improve business, such as including it on promotional materials like menus or advertising leaflets. More information is available at www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/hygieneratings/toolkit

To check out a food hygiene rating visit http://ratings.food.gov.uk/   and search by business name or location.

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