You Can’t Hide From Your Online Food Hygiene Rating Food hygiene ratings. You may think that because it isn’t mandatory to display ratings in England and Scotland that food businesses can easily hide their score on the door. Contrary to popular belief, the food industry is becoming more transparent than ever when it comes to food hygiene ratings, meaning it has become near impossible to hide it. Displaying your food hygiene rating in the UK
The UK is currently split when it comes to our food hygiene ratings. If you’re operating in Wales or Northern Ireland then it is mandatory that you display your food hygiene rating for everyone to see. However, if you’re based in England or Scotland there is no legal obligation for you to display your rating.
This disparity throughout the UK can seem confusing. Surely it would make more sense for every food business throughout the UK to have to mandatory display their food hygiene rating? There are indeed calls throughout the country for this to happen. Consumers are becoming more switched on when it comes to the food hygiene rating of a business thanks to changes in industry standards, news headlines and even the power of social media. Consumers want to know that the place they choose to eat from has the utmost of hygiene levels, as unfortunately, the consequences of poor hygiene levels can sometimes prove fatal.
You can’t hide from your food hygiene rating online
It may not be mandatory to display your food hygiene rating in the UK, however the truth is you simply can’t hide from your food hygiene rating online. The internet provides a wealth of opportunities for your consumers to find out more about your food hygiene levels.
The Food Standards Agency have a dedicated section on their website where consumers c
an search the food hygiene rating of every business in the UK. By entering a location you are then presented with the current food hygiene rating of restaurants in that area as well as when their last inspection was. All useful information when wanting to make an informed decision of where to eat out.
Food delivery companies, such as Just Eat, have also followed suit and see the value in making food hygiene ratings mandatory on their website. Back in July 2019 they became the first food delivery platform to enforce the mandatory display of food hygiene ratings on their website. Commenting on the revolutionary change, Graham Corifield of Just Eat stated ‘…consumers want easy access to independent information in relation to the hygiene standards of their local restaurants.’
This positive move increases transparency between the restaurant, Just Eat and end consumer and in turn, can lead to restaurants taking their food safety responsibilities more seriously. If a restaurant can’t achieve a food hygiene rating of 3 aka ‘good’ then they aren’t permitted to vendor on Just Eat, which for many businesses, contributes to a significant portion of income. News travels fast online
Food safety scandals are reported faster than ever thanks to social media and news outlets. Whether it’s a national scandal involving the mishandling of allergens or a social media post about a diner finding a fly in their food; as a consumer we are instantly made aware of poor food hygiene standards. The ease of complaining online often means that the general public could be informed about food safety issues before the restaurant owner knows them self! Negative food hygiene experiences are unpleasant for everyone involved, but the best way to avoid them is to adopt a proactive approach to your food safety
If a consumer wants to find your food hygiene rating…they will
If you’re based in England and Scotland and decide not to display your food hygiene rating, consumers will be more determined than ever to find out your score on the door. Whether it’s through the Food Standards Agency website, Just Eat, social media or mobile apps, it’s becoming second nature for consumers to research food hygiene ratings. It’s therefore vital that you strive for a food hygiene rating that you are proud to display.
The process of obtaining a high score can seem daunting with technical terminology, lengthy logging and strict procedures to follow. However, when you use a third party company like ourselves there is nothing daunting about it! We’re here to work alongside you to achieve a food hygiene rating you won’t be ashamed to own.
Ensuring your business has a documented and bespoke
food safety management system is a great place to start. Not only will it help you follow stringent food safety procedures, at STS, we tailor our food safety management systems to the individual needs of your business. No more trying to fit round pegs into square holes, which is quite often the case with many food safety management systems.
Get in touch with our team today to start improving your food hygiene ratings. Call us on 08450 50 40 60 or email