New £190 charge to re-inspect takeaways and restaurants in Wyre planned

Wyre takeaways and restaurants handed poor hygiene ratings following inspections may now have to pay to be revisited.

Wednesday, 1st November 2017, 3:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 5:55 am
A Food Hygiene Rating sticker
A Food Hygiene Rating sticker

The council said it plans to charge eateries looking for a fresh visit up to £190, with councillors set to vote on the charge’s introduction next week.

Fylde Council introduced a £120 charge for the service last September, while Blackpool Council charges £150.

Wyre’s head of environment and community safety, Neil Greenwood, said: “This is additional unplanned work for the council and it is felt appropriate that businesses wanting to improve their rating between programmed inspections should make a contribution to this service.

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“It is also felt that if businesses have to pay for the re-rating inspection it provides an additional incentive to improve the standards of hygiene.”

The Food Standards Agency wrote to local authorities in March saying they could introduce a fee to recover their costs under the Localism Act (2011).

“These powers allow for fees on a cost recovery basis only, and it is for each local authority to calculate their own costs,” the body said.

And a report set to go before councillors on Monday said firms would be charged £177.15 to apply for a re-inspection online, or £190.52.

In 2014/15, there were 28 such requests, in 2015/16 there were 19, in 2016/17 there were 17, and so far this year there have been 10. Charging would have brought in up to £14,098.

Other charges, including £13.70 for replacement basic food hygiene certificates, and £7.66 for health and safety posters, would stay the same.

The food hygiene rating given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection by the local authority. It varies from zero, the worst possible score, to five, the best.