Check hygiene ratings of restaurants, pubs and eateries, urges North Lincolnshire Council
In the run up to the very busy Christmas and New Year eating out period, North Lincolnshire Council is advising people to check the hygiene rating of premises before paying for food.
The authority says if there's anything guaranteed to ruin your Christmas meal out with friends, family or colleagues, it's a nasty bout of food poisoning.
"But if you're eating out, how do you know if the restaurant owner takes food hygiene seriously?" the council asks.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rates eateries and other places that sell food on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by officers from North Lincolnshire Council's Commercial Team.
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What's more, these ratings are available for everyone to see.
This national scheme, developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in partnership with local councils, rates food outlets on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom ('urgent improvement necessary) to a top rating of five (very good).
You can check the rating online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings through a free phone app, or look for the distinctive green and black rating sticker that businesses are encourages to display.
The message from the council is: "If you're organising a Christmas gathering with family, friends or work colleagues at a local restaurant, pub or hotel, don't just examine the menu, also check what their hygiene rating is, too."
Councillor Nigel Sherwood (Brigg and Wolds), Cabinet Member for Highways and Neighbourhood at North Lincolnshire Council, said: "When dining out, you'll choose to go to a place where you like the food and you know you'll have a good time. It makes sense to look before you book and check out the food hygiene rating as well."
Catriona Stewart, Head of Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA, added: "No-one wants to gamble with their health when eating out, particularly when celebrating a special festive meal. Local councils, including North Lincolnshire Council have worked with the FSA to move to the National scheme that helps people choose where to eat. Our app makes it even easier for people to check hygiene ratings before deciding which place to visit."
What is the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme?
Each business is awarded a rating by the Food Safety Officer who inspects it. The rating is calculated according to the level of compliance with:
1. Confidence in management controls/procedures
2. Food hygiene and safety law
3. Structural condition of the premises
All businesses covered by the scheme will be given a rating.
The highest rating means the business has achieved a very good standard of hygiene and the lowest rating means urgent improvement is needed to meet the requirements of food hygiene law.
Where necessary, the officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business what improvements need to be made and what action they can take to improve their hygiene rating.
HANDY LINKS TO YOU CAN CHECK THE SCORES ON THE DOORS