The Food Standards Agency has launched a new scheme that aims to provide consumers with clear information about the food hygiene standards of any business that sells or serves food to the public.
The scheme, which is run by local authorities in partnership with The Food Standards Agency, has developed a system which rates businesses and displays the information to potential consumers. The ratings run on a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 indicates the need for urgent improvement and 5 shows that hygiene standards are very good. Each business’ score is determined by a local authority food safety officer.
There are now more than 180 local authorities participating in the scheme, with more expected to sign up in the coming months. The scores will be made clearly visible to the public in the form of a window sticker or certificate, allowing them to make an informed decision before purchasing food.
The implications of the scheme for businesses serving food are huge. Public perception will be influenced by the scores and could have a direct impact on the success and survival of any given business. It is therefore more important than ever to ensure that employees handling food receive adequate food safety training.