Hygiene ratings scheme launched

Mike Gibson
Mike Gibson
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BLACKPOOL restaurant lovers will soon be able to tell at a glance how hygiene savvy their favourite eateries are, thanks to a new rating system.

Inspectors from Blackpool Council have paid a visit to every cafe, restaurant and bar in the resort as part of the national Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme.

Under the system, every venue serving food will be assessed by Environmental Health Officers from the council’s Quality Standards team and given a rating between zero and five indicating hygiene standards.

A one means major improvements are needed, a three suggests standards and satisfactory and a five means they are very good.

And in October, the findings will be published on the Food Standards Agency website so the public can see how well they fared.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “We are busy preparing and distributing certificates and window stickers to the hundreds of businesses included in the ratings scheme.

“There’s five weeks to go before ratings go live.

“The scheme is a Food Standards Agency initiative and gives consumers informed choices about hygiene standards in cafes and restaurants.”

Inspectors will check how well the business is meeting the law by looking at how food is handled, prepared, cooked, re-heated, cooled and stored.

The condition of the buildings is also taken into consideration with inspectors looking at the layout, lighting, ventilation and other facilities.

Mike Gibson (pictured) from Toast on Corporation Street, said: “I think any kind of barometer like this is a good idea because it makes people self regulate and think about their responsibilities.

“People use a star system when they book a hotel, it makes sense to have one for restaurants too.”

When the ratings were launched in Lancashire it caused controversy with some business owners complaining inspectors had not been in their premises for months.

The ratings will be published at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.