Released on 05 December 2011
With Christmas fast approaching plans are being made for the festive period. If you're organising a gathering with family, friends or work colleagues at a local restaurant, pub or hotel don't just check out the menu, check out the food hygiene rating as well.
Good food hygiene is getting easier to spot in Surrey Heath these days with the introduction in the summer of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (NFHRS). Restaurants, pubs, hotels, (as well as cafes, takeaways and other places that sell or serve food) are being rated from 0 - 5 on their hygiene standards when a food hygiene inspection is carried out by the Council.
It's easy to check out the ratings by looking them up online at: www.food.gov.uk/ratings Opens in a new window
Christmas party goers can also look out for the distinctive green and black stickers that businesses are encouraged to display at their outlets to tell their customers the rating they were given.
Surrey Heath's portfolio holder for community Councillor Vivienne Chapman said: "When dining out, you'll choose to go to a place where you like the food and you know you'll have a good time. It makes sense to look before you book and check out the food hygiene rating as well."
Catriona Stewart, Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) added: 'The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is all about putting the consumer first, supplying people with useful information on which to base their choice of where to eat. The FSA is working in partnership with Surrey Heath Borough Council and other local authorities to introduce this scheme nationally. It means that when you eat out - be it in the area you live or further away - you can easily compare hygiene standards of different food outlets."
Recent research by the Agency has shown that nearly 17 million people suffer from stomach upsets in the UK every year and many more instances go unreported. Nobody wants to have their Christmas festivities ruined and as far as food hygiene ratings go there is safety in numbers - so it's good to know.