Only Two Stars? Why Restaurants Don’t Have To Show Their Food Hygiene Rating
We’ve all been there. You’re in a fancy restaurant. It’s the weekend. You want to enjoy your time off work, maybe out with family or on a date. Your food comes to the table. All seems great. Except for the hair in your soup that you’ve just spotted floating around, or the greasy cutlery which has been placed down on your table.
Is the night ruined? Could this have been avoided? Well you might have avoided this restaurant or cafe entirely if you had spotted the 1 star that they’d been awarded from the Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating. So where was it?
Law states that businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland are legally required to show their rating, however, in England, businesses do not have to display the rating they have been awarded. Which means that the lovely exterior of the restaurant might contradict what’s going on in the kitchen.
The issue has recently been brought to the attention of the public, after an industry report has revealed half of food businesses in England do not display a hygiene rating.
The story was the main focus of BBC Breakfast this morning, as presenters spoke to Annabel Kyle, Consultancy Manager North for STS, about why some establishments are choosing not to openly show their rating, and the regularity of these checks. Annabel explained:
“You might not display it if you’ve got a poor rating, if it falls around the bottom end (0-3). You may feel that this sends a bad impression. I think that’s probably the key motivation for not wanting to show it off. However, there are other factors as well. Some large brands don’t think that the branding of the food hygiene rating (green & black) matches their brand’s look. It might not meet the aesthetic that they’re going for, so they may have a policy not to display the rating. So it doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story if it’s not displayed. It’s also not just about the cleanliness of the restaurant, both in the eating areas and the kitchen. There’s actually three different areas that the establishment is scored on. Hygiene, documentation and the condition of the building are the three areas which contribute to the overall score. The longest length of time before another inspection can take place is three years. This would be for a very low risk establishment, where there isn’t any raw meat or cooked meat being processed, such as a corner shop or newsagents. For restaurants, the regularity of inspection is a lot more regular, somewhere around 18 months.” If you think that your business could do with improving your food hygiene score, or would like to learn more about how the scoring system works, contact Annabel or one of the team on 08450 50 40 60.