homeThursday 26th November 2020

Most food firms don't display ratings

Corin Williams17/05/2012 - 14:00

| comments Comments (0) |
FHRS rating scheme could become mandatory
FHRS rating scheme could become mandatory

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) board is considering the introduction of mandatory rating schemes for food businesses across the UK, after it was revealed fewer than half of premises in England display their scores.

According to a survey carried out for the FSA, just 43 per cent of restaurants and other food businesses in England put up a score, compared to 50 per cent in Northern Ireland and only 32 per cent in London.

For businesses with a low rating – between 0 and 2 – the figure dropped to 12 per cent across England, 22 per cent in Northern Ireland and 9 per cent in London.

When asked, many proprietors said they chose not to advertise their score because it was not compulsory, disagreed with the rating or because of the low rating.

The FSA Board will be looking at whether to recommend making its Food Hygiene Rating System (FHRS) mandatory at a meeting on 22 May. In Scotland the recommendation is to make the Food Hygiene Information Scheme (FHIS) compulsory.

Last year Welsh Government first minister Carwyn Jones announced plans to require food businesses to display their hygiene rating, a move backed by the FSA. In Wales only 31 per cent of businesses display their FHRS rating. The scheme is employed by every Welsh council.

CIEH head of policy David Kidney said: ‘The CIEH has already supported the unsuccessful attempt to legislate for mandatory display in London and is supporting the legislative proposal for mandatory display in Wales.

‘Clearly the effectiveness of this tool is severely impaired if food outlets with poor hygiene standards can disempower consumers by the simple expedient of not displaying their hygiene rating.

‘Lord Young commented that display should be made mandatory under FHRS if experience were to show that many food businesses are failing to display.’

The FSA has been pushing hard to get councils and businesses signed up to the FHRS ahead of the Olympics this summer.

As it stands, 79 per cent of English local authorities have taken up the FHRS, covering around 249,000 businesses. In Scotland 21 out of 32 local authorities use the FHIS.

EHN Jobs


Subscribe eNewsletter