Stafford Borough Council is being backed by the organisation responsible for food safety in the UK in a call 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 following support for the proposal from the Council’s Community Services Scrutiny Committee.
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.”
Businesses in Wales & Northern Ireland have a legal requirement to display their hygiene rating on their premises, however in England it remains totally voluntary. This means only food businesses with high scores actually put the certificate on show.
Catherine Brown, cheif executive of the FSA has written to Councellor 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.
Hundreds of businesses across the Borough are inspected to ensure they are up to scratch, and the results and reports are 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.