Run a food business? National Food Hygiene Scheme may help you win new customers
By RozzH1 | Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 15:19
Food businesses across Tonbridge and Malling are being encouraged to win new customers by telling the world about their high standards of hygiene.
The Borough Council has adopted the new national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme that will give every food retailer and restaurant a score out of five for its standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
After taking part in the Scores on the Doors trial scheme for the past five years, the Council's food safety officers know the value of promoting high standards of food hygiene and believe businesses can benefit by supporting the scheme and shouting about their success.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA), which was behind initiatives such as Scores on the Doors, has responded to the success of that scheme by introducing the new Food Hygiene Rating Scheme across the country. Tonbridge and Malling will move to the new scheme on Monday 2 April.
The FSA's aim is to reduce food-related illnesses, which currently affect an estimated one million people a year in the UK and lead to 500 deaths.
Cllr Howard Rogers, the Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, says: "Businesses are already legally required to meet hygiene regulations, so it makes sense for those who achieve a good rating to tell customers about it. Good food hygiene means a good rating and a good rating is good for business."
A zero rating means urgent improvement is necessary, while businesses that score five have met the top standard by displaying 'very good' levels of hygiene.
The Council will in time inspect every food shop and eatery in the borough, ensuring that the public can judge which businesses are paying most attention to hygiene standards.
Cllr Rogers continues: "We were pleased with the way Scores on the Doors worked and we are confident that the new scheme will be equally successful, both in keeping the public safe and in helping businesses win new customers."
A single, nationwide scheme means that the rating will have the same significance to consumers across the country and will allow businesses to be judged by the same criteria, wherever they are based.
Businesses are encouraged to tell consumers how good their hygiene standards are by putting their ratings sticker in the window or on the door or by displaying their rating certificate. They are also encouraged to show the rating on their own websites and in promotional material. Ratings will also be available on www.food.gov.uk/ratings