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Jersey goes mandatory on rating scheme

Stuart Spear02/11/2017 - 11:24

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Jersey's Eat Safe logo
Jersey's Eat Safe logo

From the 1 December it will be mandatory for all Jersey’s food businesses to display the island’s equivalent of the food hygiene rating system.

The new law is to come into force following the signing of a ministerial order earlier this week. The legislation covers all businesses that sell food to the public including those that prepare and sell food from home.

Jersey’s food safety rating system in known as the East Safe star rating system with ratings from 2 star, where hygiene standard need to improve, through to a five star, being the best.

A business that is non-compliant with Jersey Food Law and that needs to rectify issues can be given a zero rating. The scheme does not have a 1 rating as this would suggest some level of compliance with food law.

There are currently no zero-rated premises on Jersey. Out of the island’s 1,080 registered food premises, 99.6 per cent have a three star rating or above. Three star is equivalent to the UK’s ‘largely compliant’. Jersey uses the same code of practice as the UK for scoring.

The introduction of the scheme was initiated by the island’s environmental health team, and came into force in October 2014.

‘We obviously get a lot of people coming from the UK used to the food hygiene rating system, which we felt was not appropriate for Jersey so we looked around the world for best practice,’ said Stewart Petrie director of environmental health, Department of the Environment Jersey.

Under the existing system only businesses with a rating of 3 and above can choose to publicly display their star rating. The idea is that lower rated premises are encouraged to improve their standards.

Businesses that disagree with their rating can add comments on the East Safe website alongside their star rating. A re-inspection can be requested after three months as long as the business can provide evidence of improvement. There is no charge for re-inspection.

Every food shop, restaurant and café, in Jersey will have to display their Eat Safe rating from 1 December or face prosecution. Businesses offering a take away service will have to refer to the Eat Safe website or show the ratings on all flyers from 1 June 2018.

The Eat Safe scheme is run by the environmental health team at the Department of the Environment and scores are listed on the website www.gov.je/eatsafe which is searchable by score or by Parish, last inspection date and a location map.

‘The very different nature of an island jurisdiction which makes its own law allows us to tailor laws, regulations and orders to the very particular circumstances where we live, and allows a nuanced approach to enforcement we describe as “persuasive compliance”,’ explains Mr Petrie.

The neighbouring Channel Island, Guernsey, runs its own Food Hygiene Information System.


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