unnamedSTOCKTON Borough residents getting organised for the festive period are being reminded to look before they book’ to check out the hygiene ratings of their favourite restaurants.

The Food Standards Agency’s food hygiene rating system provides simple and clear information for customers about the hygiene standards of restaurants and other food businesses.

Customers can visit the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk/ratings or ask a venue to see their green and black sticker which simply rates the venues from zero to five with a five rating meaning a very good level of food hygiene.

The ratings within Stockton Borough are determined by Stockton Council’s Environmental Health team.

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said: “Christmas is a time to enjoy good company and good food without worrying about food poisoning. But the truth is, you can’t tell a restaurant’s hygiene standards by how clean and tidy the staff look or by how busy it is.  If you are planning where to dine over the festive period there’s one easy way to set your mind at rest – check the food hygiene rating and look before you book and visit.

“For local eateries Christmas is a busy and important time and a good food hygiene rating is something to be proud of.  We are encouraging all Stockton Borough businesses to display their rating to make sure they have a prosperous festive period.”

For more information visit www.food.gov.uk/ratings