Food Hygiene Rating : Know The Standards Of Your Restaurants & Food Sellers

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is a resource that helps you to make an informed choice about where you eat and shop for food. It gives you a rating on the hygiene standards of pubs, restaurants, cafes, takeaways, hotels and shops to give you piece of mind about the food you eat. So as to keep the larger chains honest, supermarkets and other food shops are also included in the scheme.

In partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA)

In order to give the service even more validity, it is in partnership with the FSA, one of the UK’s main governing bodies that help to keep everything food and nutrition honest, accurate and safe. The idea of this ‘rating’ is to allow local authorities to work closely with food safety officers in order to show how closely a business is adhering to the requirements of food safety law! The food safety inspector will issue the business with a hygiene rating which should be presented in the window or on the door, alternatively they may well present this as a certificate on the wall…probable depending on their score! If a business has a certificate on display, and provided it isn’t a particularly low score, then you can eat or buy from there with relative piece of mind. For example, Welsh establishments will have to present their FHRS sticker in a ‘prominent place’. Sellers will also be obliged to present their food hygiene rating on demand, should a customer ask.

Have a little look before you ask them to cook

Next time you’re planning a dinner date with somebody, or even looking to order a takeaway take a quick look on the FHRS website to see if the scheme is running in your area, then ask the business for their hygiene rating (if you're interested). Granted you are only able to search for companies hygiene ratings if they are in an area that supports the scheme, but one would hope that in time this will become mandatory any way! Food Hygiene Rating

What specifically will a food safety officer assess? 

The food safety officer carrying out the checks will inspect how well the business is meeting food safety LAWS, yes, meeting food hygiene standards is a very important legal matter! The officer will check the following:

- How the food is handled, prepared, cooked, re-heated and stored

- The general cleanliness of the building itself, its layout, lighting, ventilation and the overall structural integrity of the building

- If the business has a structured plan in place to monitor how it manages and records everyday food practices   Once the food safety officer has completed his searches, the business is given one of six ratings. The top rating of ‘5’ means the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards…this is of course the least one would expect from an establishment handling their food!

Reference

Food Standards Agency, (2014). Find out more about food hygiene ratings. Retrieved 5th June, 2014, from http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/hygiene-rating-schemes/ratings-find-out-more-en/

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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