On Friday 30 March Mansfield District Council will be introducing a new national food hygiene scheme across the District, replacing the Council's own Scores on the Doors food hygiene rating scheme.
The food hygiene scheme helps people to choose where to eat out or buy a takeaway from, as it provides a score of how hygienic the business is.
Nearly 200 Councils have already joined the national scheme, making it easier for people to recognise the hygiene standard ratings at food outlets across the country.
This national scheme has been developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local authorities.
Local authorities are responsible for carrying out inspections of food businesses to check that they meet the requirements of food hygiene law. A Food Hygiene Rating will be given to food businesses after each inspection.
At the inspection, the officer will check:
- How hygienically the food is handled - how it is prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored.
- The condition of the structure of the buildings - the cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.
- How the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.
The hygiene standards found at the time of inspection are then rated on a scale. At the bottom of the scale is '0' - this means urgent improvement is required. At the top of the scale is '5' - this means the hygiene standards are very good.
Ratings are given to places where you can eat out such as restaurants, takeaways, cafes, sandwich shops, pubs, and hotels. Ratings are also given to schools, hospitals, residential care homes, supermarkets and delicatessens.
As part of the new scheme, each of the inspection results will be published on the Council's website and businesses will be given a certificate and window sticker to display on their premises.
Cllr Mick Barton, Portfolio Holder for Public Protection, said: "We have been operating our own food hygiene rating scheme in Mansfield for a number of years, but by joining this national scheme it will bring us in line with many other local authorities across the country - making the ratings consistent and recognisable. The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme allows people to make an informed choice when deciding where to buy their food from. It will also help food businesses as the scheme rewards the efforts of businesses with high standards of hygiene and encourages businesses with poor standards of hygiene to improve."
Catriona Stewart, Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA said: "We recognise the real progress that has been made in improving hygiene standards in food outlets through 'local' food hygiene rating schemes. But having a single nationwide scheme will mean a level playing field for businesses across the country, and consumers will be able to recognise and use the ratings in their own area, as well as further from home. So it's great news that Mansfield District Council has announced their intention to switch to the new national scheme."
Published 23 March 2012