Council tucks in to national food hygiene rating scheme

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DINERS will soon be able to compare the cleanliness of a restaurant in Hull alongside others across the country after the city council joined a national food hygiene rating scheme.

The council took part in the “Scores on the Doors” pilot in 2007, which gave premises a rating between A and E.

But it has now adopted the Food Standards Agency’s scheme, which awards a star of between zero and five, where five means “very good” and zero means “urgent improvement” is needed.

Coun John Hewitt, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and families, said the uniform scheme would make it easier for customers to assess.

“Scores on the Doors has been successful and popular,” he said. “However, we are switching to the new national scheme because it makes sense to use a system which is instantly recognisable by consumers across the country.

“It gives them the peace of mind that a five-star takeaway in Hampshire meets the same rigorous inspection as a five-star restaurant or takeaway in Hull.”

Last year in Hull, more than 1,700 premises were inspected, with 613 scoring the top rating.

Inspections usually take place once a year and are unannounced. The inspector, from the council’s food safety team, determines whether a business meets legal standards for hygienic food handling, the condition of the building, and how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

Certificates and window stickers with the appropriate star rating are issued. Businesses do not have to display the rating, but they are listed on the council’s website.