It’s 10 years since Wales led the way as the first country in the UK to make the display of food hygiene ratings a legal requirement. Since November 2013, businesses in Wales have been required by law to display their food hygiene rating sticker in a prominent place – such as the front door, entrance or window.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has delivered lasting benefits to consumers and businesses and is rightly celebrated as one of the country’s most significant public health achievements of the 21st century.
A decade on, the scheme has driven up standards in food businesses in Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council with over 46% of businesses displaying a rating of 5 and 90.9% with a rating of 3 or above.
Councillor Helen Cunningham, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s cabinet member for Place and Environment & Deputy Leader, said:
“The black and green stickers on display at restaurants, cafes, supermarkets and online help give people an indicator of how businesses in Blaenau Gwent are taking food hygiene and standards seriously.
“Food hygiene rating stickers are a simple and transparent way of displaying the results of hygiene inspections conducted by our officers. The scheme gives consumers confidence that checks are being carried out into how food is being prepared and served in a clean and hygienic way and that business are meeting their legislative requirements for food hygiene.”
The scheme empowers people to make informed choices about where they buy and eat food every day. And the benefits do not stop there – the mandatory display of ratings also encourages food businesses to improve their hygiene standards. All food businesses are able to achieve the top rating of ‘5 – very good’ by doing what is required of them under food law. Remember, a good hygiene rating is good for business – offering a competitive advantage to those who receive top hygiene ratings.
The impact of the scheme should not be underestimated. Hygiene standards in food businesses have improved as a result of the mandatory scheme, with 96% of businesses in Wales now displaying a rating of ‘3’ or above. Research shows that businesses with higher ratings are less likely to be responsible for outbreaks of foodborne illness.
Nathan Barnhouse, Director of the Food Standards Agency in Wales said:
“We are proud to deliver the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme in partnership with Local Authorities and Welsh Government. Local Authorities are essential to the success of the scheme. Through their regular engagement with food businesses, they have played a key role in driving up hygiene standards to where they are today. The scheme allows people to vote with their feet or by a click of a button and choose those businesses that take food hygiene seriously.”
Ask about the Food Hygiene Rating, look for the sticker, or check online before purchasing food: ratings.food.gov.uk