Food Law News - UK - 2008

FSA Press Release, 13 March 2008

HYGIENE - Board agreement on Scores on the Doors

At its open meeting held yesterday in Edinburgh , the FSA Board agreed that a single nationwide scores on the doors scheme should be put in place to make food business hygiene ratings available to consumers.

This decision was based on experience with over 100 schemes which have been running over the past two years and demonstrates the Agency's commitment to enable consumer choice.

The Agency will consult on two possible schemes:

A 12-week consultation will launched and be made available on the FSA website. The Agency is asking all interested parties to respond to this.

Once this consultation has closed and the Agency has reviewed the responses we will work with local authorities to finalise and implement the scheme.

Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair of the FSA said:

'We had a lively and interesting discussion. The Board agreed that we should adopt a UK wide Scores on the Doors scheme. It also felt that it was only proper that as well as consulting on the scheme that our research shows is popular with consumers we should also ask people to think about the scheme which has been running in Scotland for the last 18 months.

'Scores on the doors is an important step in empowering consumers to make informed choices about the food they eat. The pilot schemes have provided valuable data to inform the decision of the Board and I would like to extend the Agency's thanks to all of the local authorities who implemented and maintained these and other scores on the doors schemes.

Our data shows that the introduction of a single nationwide scheme is clearly supported by all stakeholders and we will work with local authorities and food businesses across the country to put this in place.'

The FSA is currently recommending a voluntary approach to the display of scores. These scores will also be available to consumers via the Internet. We will continue to work with local authorities to monitor how this operates in practice. At this stage the Agency does not believe advocating a mandatory approach would be in line with the principles of better regulation.

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