National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme
A national scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland has now being introduced - ‘the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’.
Having a single national scheme in place will help to ensure that businesses are treated fairly and consistently with local and regional/national competitors.
Milton Keynes Council has adopted the new ‘Food Hygiene Rating Scheme’ which uses numbers with simple word descriptors for example:
Each business is given a hygiene rating when it is inspected by a food safety officer from the business’s local authority. The hygiene rating tells you the standards of hygiene found at the time of the inspection.
The food safety officer inspecting a business checks how well the business is meeting the law on food hygiene by looking at:
1) how hygienically the food is handled – how it is prepared, cooked, cooled and stored;
2) the condition of the structure of the buildings, including cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation, equipment and other facilities;
3) how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.
The food safety officer will explain to the person who owns or manages the business, if there are any improvements needed, what they are and how they can achieve a higher rating.
A business is given one of six ratings. These are on a scale from ‘0’ at the bottom, which means that urgent improvement is necessary, to ‘5’ at the top, which means that the business was found to have ‘very good’ hygiene standards. Any business should be able to reach this top rating.
When you eat out or shop for food, look out for a sticker in the window or on the door, or a certificate on display, showing you the food hygiene rating for that business.
Businesses are encouraged to display these stickers and certificates at their premises in places where you can easily see them when you visit. If the food outlet you want to visit isn’t displaying a sticker or certificate, you can speak to staff about the business’s rating.
All Milton Keynes catering premises will be transferred to the new Scheme in November 2011 and will be published online at Food Ratings for Catering Premises