26 Jul 2021

Is a low food hygiene rating losing you business?

Nearly everyone can recognise the food hygiene ratings that are normally displayed by restaurants, takeaways, cafés, pubs, hotels, supermarkets and other retailers, but does everyone know what they actually mean?

Recent statistics by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) show that 63% of the public in England and 78% in Wales say they are aware of the food hygiene rating scheme. The FSA provide a tool on their website for anyone to search for the official food hygiene rating of any business serving food by simply entering the name and location of the establishment on: https://ratings.food.gov.uk/ . With this information freely available to the public don’t let a poor food hygiene rating be the reason you lose out on business.

Launched in November 2010 by the FSA, the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme aims to improve hygiene standards in businesses by offering an incentive as well as providing the public with more information about food premises so that consumers can make a more informed decision about where to eat. In Wales and Northern Island, it is compulsory to display food hygiene ratings on the business premises, however, in England, this is not yet the case.

The ratings range from 0 meaning ‘ urgent improvement is required ’ to 5 which represents ‘ very good hygiene standards.’

The criteria that Environmental Health Officers use to award food hygiene ratings include:

  • Cleanliness of premises
  • Standard of food hygiene practices
  • Confidence in management

Food hygiene is critical and, if not managed correctly, can result in serious consequences. In a July 2020 study, the FSA estimated that 2.4 million cases and 180 deaths every year in the UK are due to foodborne illnesses. This combined with the fact that the general public are becoming increasingly aware of food hygiene ratings and their significance means that food businesses ignore these at their peril. If you would like to improve your food hygiene rating or need help with any food safety issues, contact us on 01527 833834 or fill out a contact form.

Sentinel Safety Solutions Ltd is based in Worcestershire but we help clients across the Midlands and throughout the UK. Check out our extensive range of food safety training courses and call our friendly team today.