Nine out of 10 Wyre food firms now up to scratch

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Some 89 per cent of Wyre’s 1,149 food businesses are now ‘broadly complaint’ with food hygiene regulations, it has been revealed.

The council’s overview and scrutiny committee will on Monday hear the area now has just three businesses with a zero star rating.

“Businesses that don’t comply are targeted with increased enforcement, although we are encouraged by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to have a graduated approach to enforcement,” council papers read.

Council inspectors visit businesses that sell food on a regular basis, including takeaways, cafes, sandwich shops, and restaurants.

They then hand down a rating of between zero and five, with zero being the worst and five the best – the firm’s food hygiene rating, or ‘score on the door’.

Those given zero, one, or two ratings are given a list of what they need to improve, and when they will be revisited – and are kept under a closer eye than those given four or five ratings.

“The food hygiene rating scheme is only part of the inspection process,” papers added.

“Since 2009 we have run two projects with poorly performing businesses with resources funded by the Food Standards Agency.

“The FSA provided coaching [and] we invited 92 businesses to take part. Some 62 took part.”

Staff from nine of the worst performing takeaways were among those given 2.5 hour training sessions.

On Monday, councillors will be told work is being done to improve the council’s food hygiene scheme.

A website designer has been recruited so firms can apply online for a re-rating, while the staff have had training about how to write to businesses to promote improvements.