I’ll admit it…I do base my dining decisions on a restaurant’s food hygiene rating in its window. My behaviour as a consumer means the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is an increasingly important consumer tool – perhaps more than restaurateurs realise. The scheme helps consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways and food shops. In Scotland, a similar programme is run by Food Standards Scotland where the hygiene scheme is called the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS).
In partnership with local authorities, the Food Service Authority operates the FHRS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the FHIS in Scotland. The schemes encourage businesses to improve hygiene standards because up to a third of the population could contract food poisoning from campylobacter, the most common cause of food poisoning. In addition, foodborne illnesses such as E. coli can be fatal. Who wants to risk their own health or that of their family or friends for a takeaway from a business that isn’t compliant with hygiene regulations?
The FHRS is now running in all areas of Wales and Northern Ireland and in 99% of England meaning more restaurants and foodservice businesses will be in the hygiene spotlight for their winning ratings or substandard hygiene. To ensure your business is one of the winners, find out more about the FHRS and the FHIS at: Food Hygiene Ratings.