Food outlets in Wales are now legally obliged to display their Food Standards Agency (FSA) hygiene rating in a prominent place. This is bad news for over a hundred kitchens which have received zero stars. The ratings apply not just to restaurants and takeaways, but to all food outlets. Among those receiving a zero star rating were rugby clubs, sweet shops and even a primary school.
Powys was the county most frequently represented with 19 establishments listed, including Sennybridge County Primary School. However, the council’s communications manager said that the issues at the school had been rectified and that a higher rating of five would be applied when the FSA updated its website.
This highlights the fact that ratings are not static, but are instead subject to regular revision. As a spokeswoman for the FSA said:
“Businesses are not given a zero then left alone, if there’s a risk to public health there are certain procedures in place, and the inspectors would be working with businesses on the actions they need to take.”
Equally, a five star rating is no cause for resting on one’s laurels as if standards slip, a new, lower rating will reflect that. Food must be handled hygienically and managed correctly, but the premises must also be in good condition. All three aspects contribute to a kitchen’s star rating.