Should display of food hygiene ratings be mandatory?

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

A survey asking if the display of food hygiene ratings should be mandatory for restaurants and takeaways in West Sussex has been launched.

West Sussex County Council says it is committed to increasing consumer confidence and the prosperity of the local economy and believes with the right support and encouragement it can help the lower scoring food businesses make the necessary changes to improve their food hygiene ratings.

The online poll comes after the Food Standards Agency released the results of its annual consumer survey which found that 86 per cent of people living in England think businesses should have to display their food hygiene rating.

The food hygiene rating scheme helps residents choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving clear information about hygiene standards.

To take part in the poll visit the council’s website and search ‘food hygiene’.

The survey comes after it was revealed that 20 per cent of restaurants and takeaways in West Sussex have a hygiene rating of ‘adequate’ or lower.

Now West Sussex Trading Standards and environmental health officers are encouraging businesses take part in a workshop to help them improve their ratings.

The workshop will support and encourage the lower scoring food businesses to make the necessary changes to improve their food hygiene ratings.

It is designed for catering staff of all levels, including chefs, waiting staff, supervisors and managers, working in or operating a food catering business.

The workshop will be held at County Hall in Chichester on Monday July 9 from 10am-1pm which will include topics such as how to:

• Handle, prepare, cool and store food hygienically.

• Understand the differences between food allergies, intolerances and food sensitivities.

• Be aware of the common symptoms of an allergic reaction.

• Identify the 14 named allergens that must be declared in food products.

• It will also encourage participants to build their business contacts by networking with other food businesses.

• And provide an understanding of what an Environmental Health Officer is looking for when awarding a five-star food hygiene rating.

Places cost £35 (excluding VAT) per person. To book spaces visit the council’s website and search ‘Hygiene rating.’

Another workshop will take place in Worthing in October.