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Food ratings to be displayed on premises

Created on 14/12/2011 @ 15:22


Restaurants and takeaways in the Welshpool area could be required by law to publicly display food hygiene ratings on their premises.
In what would be the first compulsory "scores-on-the-doors" scheme in the UK, some local eateries would be forced to tell potential customers that they have received the bottom rating from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Earlier this year, the ratings caused a storm when some of the lowest rated outlets were published in the local media with many claiming the system was unfair.
But Welsh Government Ministers want customers to get more details about where they eat or buy food and say the tough stance will raise standards and eradicate outbreaks of diseases like E. coli.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: "It is already a legal requirement for food businesses to meet hygiene regulations set out in food law, but businesses are not currently required to display their ratings and those with low scores generally do not display them.
"Compulsory display of hygiene ratings will encourage all businesses to improve their procedures and drive up standards."
Under the scheme, businesses are rated between zero to five based on standards on how the food is prepared, cooked, cooled and stored, as well as the condition of the premises.
All food businesses, including supermarkets, will be required to display their score in a prominent position or face fines of up to £1,000. Ratings are also available online through the FSA web site.
Currently, more than 13,500 have been rated under the scheme, although it is estimated that only one in three display their rating.
A Consumer Focus Wales survey in October showed that 94% of people in Wales thought it should be compulsory for food businesses to display their food hygiene rating score.
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