England get ready - Mandatory display of Food Hygiene Ratings are on the way!

Published: 21 Feb 2017

With the display of Food Hygiene Rating stickers now mandatory in Northern Ireland and Wales, all food businesses must now publicly display their rating regardless of whether it is low or high.

It was always only going to be a matter of time before this law became enforced in England. It has been reported that by 2019 businesses selling or serving food in England will be forced to display their hygiene rating to customers.

Almost 17,000 businesses in London serving or selling food could lose nearly half of their customers due to new legislation forcing them to display their hygiene ratings, it has been claimed.

According to the NFU Mutual Food Hygiene Ratings report, 44% of people would turn away from their favourite place to eat if it had a rating of less than four out of five.

At CSC we want our all of our clients to be able to obtain and maintain a rating of ‘5’.

Here are our top tips to help you maintain or improve your hygiene rating:

Key fundamental areas that the EHO focuses on when conducting food hygiene inspections are as follows:

  1. A managed approach to pest control: The need for an integrated pest management system is of paramount concern in areas where pest activity is rife. It is expected that regular pest control visits by the pest control technician are conducted in conjunction with strict housekeeping protocols where all food sources/food debris are cleared to reduce the likelihood of pest attraction.
  2. Authenticity of due diligence monitoring system:  When it comes to assessing the compliance of the due diligence system, it is key that the required checks (including opening checks, fridge freezer and core cooking) are conducted and documented in the specified time periods.
  3. Prevention of cross contamination: In recent times Local Authority have placed significant focus on prevention of E.coli in commercial food establishments. It is essential that cooked and ready to eat foods are not cross contaminated by raw meat handling protocols.
  4. Levels of personal hygiene: Protocols like hand washing procedures, wearing of clean chefs uniforms and personal hygiene habits are taken into account.

In addition to the above mentioned tips, good levels of cleanliness, evidence of food safety training and a good structural condition of the premises also play a role in ensuring that a good Food Hygiene Rating is achieved.

Often complacency can result in standards dropping in a relatively short period of time. Ensuring that these key tips are upheld should enable you to retain or improve your rating.

If you need help or advice on achieving or maintaining a high food hygiene rating contact us.

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