A recent report published by the Food Standards Agency has revealed concrete proof of how effective their rating system has been in terms of improving food safety compliance. The report, released in early December 2017, confirmed that these regulations have seen a great leap in food hygiene standards across Great Britain.
It also highlighted how effective the mandatory public display of food ratings by food outlets has been in Wales and Northern Ireland. It would seem that by having to let the public know what their rating is by law, it has had a knock-on effect in terms of the compliance with hygiene standards by these same businesses. It is hoped that this compulsory display of food hygiene ratings will come into effect in England soon to have the same positive impact.
FSA's Chief Scientific Advisor comments welcomed
Professor Guy Poppy is the Food Standard Agencies Chief Scientific Advisor and it is his report in this area that has confirmed the above. He noted that "the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme has been a significant development for food safety" and highlighted the empowering effect it had for consumers. This was true for all of Great Britain, but particularly those regions where it was mandatory for an establishment to publicly display their rating to customers.
FHRS proving to be a success
Since the Food Hygiene Rating System was first introduced in 2010, it has led to a continued improvement in the standards in businesses that produce food, to eat in or take out. It is now thought that around 430,000 businesses are listed on the FSA website with their ratings.
Of these, 67% achieved a rating of 5 which is the maximum while 95% were rated 3 which is generally satisfactory or better. These statistics show just how much of an impact the FSA's rating system has had in food outlets all across the UK in driving hygiene standards up.
Consumers in England hungry for change
Latest research shows that 84% of the public in England want food outlets to be made to publicly display their food hygiene rating. If this were to come into effect, it would bring England in line with Wales and Northern Ireland in this vital area. The success of this compulsory display system in other parts of the UK has proved that England may well be wise to follow suit. It would enable the whole of the UK to have a robust and clear system that will do even more to protect consumers moving forward.
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