A borough council in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, has told residents in the area to steer clear of food businesses with low food hygiene standards and choose higher rating firms instead.
Carrickfergus Borough Council runs a Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, which awards businesses with ratings from zero to five following food safety inspections. The ratings are displayed online, and businesses can also display a green and black food hygiene rating scheme sticker with their rating within their own premises.
Whilst an impressive 87 per cent of food businesses in the area have been awarded a three-star rating or more this year, the rest are falling below the standards required by food hygiene regulations. Consumers are being advised to check the rating of a business before using it, and to avoid those that have been awarded a zero, one or two star rating.
The council, and other local authorities in Northern Ireland, believe that this will encourage businesses to make improvements to standards, such as improving food hygiene training for staff and implementing better cleaning systems in their premises, in a bid to win or keep customers.