FSA Press Release, 15 October 2010
Today Lord Young has published the report of his review of Health and Safety – Common Sense Common Safety. The report makes a number of recommendations relevant to the Agency’s responsibilities, particularly our Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
Lord Young was asked by the Coalition Government to carry out a review of health and safety legislation.
Jeff Rooker, Chair of the FSA, commented: ‘The Food Standards Agency welcomes the very strong support Lord Young gives in his report to the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme that we are introducing.
'We are pleased that Lord Young recognises the clear benefits to having a single national scheme. It will present consumers with easy to use information on food hygiene standards when eating out or shopping for food, and will provide a level playing field for businesses.
'Our scheme is now up and running and we are encouraging and supporting as many local authorities as possible to take part on a voluntary basis. We are working closely with the first of them to come on board and with those that will be rolling out the scheme in their areas in the next few months. We will also be promoting the scheme to consumers so that they will come to expect ratings to be displayed and draw their own conclusions where they are not.
'The FSA has always recognised the need to keep the voluntary display of ratings under review. Assessing the voluntary approach after 12 months, as Lord Young suggests, will provide the opportunity to see if this approach has worked.’
What is the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps you choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving you information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, supermarkets, and other places you eat out and buy food.
The scheme is run by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in partnership with the Food Standards Agency. A different scheme, with similar aims, is being rolled out by local authorities in Scotland.
Each business is given a ‘hygiene rating’ (from 0-5) when it is inspected by a food safety officer from the business’s local authority. The hygiene rating shows how closely the business is meeting the requirements of food hygiene law.
When you eat out or shop for food, you might see a sticker in the window or on the door, or a certificate on display, showing you the hygiene rating for that business. Businesses are encouraged to display these stickers and certificates at their premises in a place where you can easily see them when you visit.
The scheme is new. This means not all businesses in an area running the scheme will have a rating yet.
A copy of Lord Young's report is available on this site. See: Lord Young Report: Common Sense, Common Safety
See also the Press Release from the Chartered Institute of Enviornmental Health: