Making it safer for you to eat out

Leading the way: the FSA's Tim Bennett, Hardeep Kang, senior environmental health officer at FDC, and Cllr Chris Seaton, with representatives from food businesses
Leading the way: the FSA's Tim Bennett, Hardeep Kang, senior environmental health officer at FDC, and Cllr Chris Seaton, with representatives from food businesses
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TWENTY-five local food businesses have been praised for their speed off the mark in signing up to a new, nationally recognised way of demonstrating their standards of hygiene for their customers.

They gathered at Fenland Hall for a presentation ceremony organised by Fenland District Council to launch the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in Fenland from November 2.

The scheme is designed to make it easier for customers to compare standards wherever they are in the country. It has been developed by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with local authorities and food businesses across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It helps people choose the safest places to eat out or shop for food by showing the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, mobile food vendors, takeaways and hotels, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.

After an inspection each business is rated on a scale from zero (meaning “urgent improvement necessary”) to five (“very good”). Each business will be given a distinctive green and black sticker and a certificate which it can display at the entrance to its premises. The same stickers will be used in food businesses throughout the country.

Its introduction in Fenland will build on the success of the previous Scores on the Doors scheme. The local businesses invited to the launch event were the first 25 to have returned their old Scores on the Doors certificates.

The launch event was attended by representatives from the Food Standards Agency, including Tim Bennett, its deputy chairman, who congratulated FDC and local businesses for backing the new scheme.

He said: “The FHRS is a key element of our strategic aim to improve food safety and I am delighted it is being rolled out in Fenland. A single national scheme is better for customers and better for businesses. It means that consumers will be able to compare like for like not just in their own area but further afield.”

Welcoming all the guests, Councillor Chris Seaton, FDC’s deputy leader, said: “We hope this will cement the relationship between Fenland and the Food Standards Agency. I’m certain this scheme will be even more successful than Scores on the Doors.”

The public can view the ratings on FDC’s website at www.fenland.gov.uk and the FSA website at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.