East Northants Council supports campaign for compulsory display of food hygiene ratings

Food businesses can be rated zero to five
Food businesses can be rated zero to five

A move to raise food hygiene standards and protect public health is being supported by East Northamptonshire Council.

Under the food hygiene rating scheme, council environmental health teams regularly inspect and score food outlets from zero to five based on factors such as kitchen cleanliness, cooking methods and food safety management.

But in England, businesses do not have to display the ‘Scores on the Doors’ rating they have been awarded.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England, is calling for mandatory display of ‘Scores on the Doors’ ratings to be legally extended to England to help raise food hygiene standards at restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, sandwich shops, supermarkets and delicatessens, to improve transparency and reassurance for consumers.

It believes that failure to comply should result in either a fine or prosecution.

Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North, said: “In East Northamptonshire, 450 of our food businesses have achieved the top five star rating and just over 100 have a rating of four stars.

“We know that by displaying their scores on their doors, these businesses enjoy an increase in trade as customers are confident that they are receiving a service of the highest possible standard.

“Compulsory display will mean that all businesses have to display this information, including those which don’t maintain good standards of food hygiene.

“Customers can then make informed choices about the level of compliance with food hygiene laws.

“By empowering and informing consumers about food hygiene, research has shown that standards rise.”

To find out the food hygiene standards of a restaurant, takeaway or food shop visit www.food.gov.uk.