Scheme is improving food hygiene

A FOOD hygiene scheme which began in Scarborough a year ago is reported to be driving up standards.

One year ago approximately 75 per cent of businesses were rated as either good or very good (4 or 5), with the latest figures showing that this has risen to around 85 per cent.

The national scheme, launched locally by Scarborough Borough Council at the end of March 2011, has been developed by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with local authorities and food business representatives.

The object of the scheme is to provide consumers with at-a-glance information about hygiene standards in food businesses found during planned inspections.

The aim is to help consumers make informed choices about where to eat out or shop for food and also assist in driving up food hygiene standards generally.

The scheme covers most businesses that supply food directly to consumers, including; restaurants, shops, cafes, takeaways, delicatessens, care homes, hotels and pubs.

Each business is given a rating, 5 represents very good hygiene standards and 0 shows that urgent improvement is found to be necessary.

Steve Pogson, Scarborough Borough Council’s health and community safety manager said: “We have been very pleased with the response to the scheme since it was launched a year ago. It is particularly pleasing to note the improvement in the ratings which I believe shows that food businesses in our area are now fully aware of how a good rating can be good for their business.”

Catriona Stewart, head of the food hygiene ratings team at the Food Standards Agency added: “Scarborough Borough Council was one of the first local authorities to adopt the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, and it’s great to see the impact it has had in driving up hygiene standards in food outlets in the area. Now over 200 councils are using this national scheme, so people from Scarborough to Swansea have the opportunity to compare hygiene ratings when choosing where to eat out.”