The organisation responsible for food safety in the UK is backing a call from Stafford Borough Council’s health chief to force food businesses to display their hygiene ratings.
Councillor Frank Finlay wrote to the Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), calling for the mandatory publicising of the scores.
In the letter, Councillor Finlay said:
“Forcing all food businesses in England to display hygiene ratings would help to crack down on and expose businesses that put people’s health at risk by incentivising them to improve or maintain high hygiene standards. It would also force food businesses to improve standards and reduce the need for enforcement actions.”
He sent his letter to the FSA following support for the proposal from the Council’s Community Services Scrutiny Committee.
In Wales and Northern Ireland businesses have a legal requirement to display their hygiene rating on their premises. In England, however, this is totally voluntary which usually means only food businesses with high scores actually put the certificate on show.
Now chief executive of the FSA, Catherine Brown, has written to Cllr Finlay to say they “favour mandatory displays at food outlets” and they were currently building a case to ensure a statutory scheme could be delivered in England.
The Borough Council inspects hundreds of businesses across the Borough to ensure they are up to scratch, with the results and reports available at www.ratemyplace.org.uk.
The authority has given 623 businesses (68 per cent) the highest rating of five and 95 per cent of all the businesses in the borough have a satisfactory rating of three or higher.