500 join food hygiene scheme

A scheme that shows the hygiene rating of food premises in the Borough has now recorded its five hundredth business that has achieved the maximum score of 5. Amber Valley Borough Council became the first in Derbyshire to take part in the Food Standards Agency's National Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme - where food premises are awarded points ratings of zero to five based on the food hygiene standards of restaurants and takeaways. Since the scheme was launched in December last year, the number of food premises achieving the maximum score of 5, which also include day nurseries, pubs, cafes and farm shops, has reached 501 - an 11.5% increase. The scheme works by applying a score based on the Council's routine food hygiene inspection score using criteria from the cleanliness of the kitchen to the way staff handle food and general hygiene standards.

With the scheme running for 6 months, over 50% of businesses have achieved a score of 5, with 95% of businesses in Amber Valley scoring the minimum compliance level of 3 or more. The number of non-compliant premises has also reduced by over 50% in the last three years, which as freed up enforcement resources to further work with those resistant to change.

Businesses currently display a certificate in their door with their score to allow the public to see how they've done. The Government will review the scheme next year, and one of the options being considered is introducing legislation to make it compulsory to display the certificate, as some businesses are not displaying the certificates and door stickers.

Councillor Chris Short, Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities, said: "Our message to the public is to go onto the Food Hygiene Ratings' web site before they book their table at the restaurant and get used to using the system and spreading the word.  The ratings can change regularly so using the web site more often gives the public a much more accurate picture of the hygiene of a particular place rather than just relying on word of mouth. If they are not displaying a certificate, ask them why not? 
With Coronation Street's 'Rovers Return Inn' displaying its Food Hygiene Ratings Certificate, the scheme could not have developed a higher profile!"

The Food Hygiene Ratings web site is http://ratings.food.gov.uk

Notes to editors

The statistics are subject to change on a daily basis and data is only a snapshot of inspections which take place on a rolling programme. 
For further information please contact Luke Barrett Communications Manager on 01773 841 655 or email luke.barrett@ambervalley.gov.uk

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