Once again, it has become glaringly obvious that food hygiene standards in thousands of UK restaurants are simply not good enough. In the latest instances, evidence from East Lancashire suggests that in this region alone, more than 12 food outlets have been found to need major or urgent improvements to hygiene standards.
MPs are becoming increasingly concerned with what appears to be a clear lack of regard for common sense hygiene standards, in restaurants and food outlets across the UK. While it is necessary for every such business to retain and produce upon request its official Food Agency Standards Rating, it is far too easy to keep these scorecards out of view.
And of course, the overwhelming majority of consumers never bother to look or ask for them.
MP for Blackburn, Kate Hollern, stated that the current situation is a real cause for concern.
“The fact that so many premises are in the bottom two categories needing ‘urgent’ or ‘major’ improvement is very worrying,” she said.
“Councils need to step up enforcement on those premises that fail to improve and close those that do not take the necessary steps,”
“I am a big fan of ‘Scores on the Doors’ and people should check the rating before using a restaurant, cafe or takeaway.”
The system known as ‘Scores on the Doors’ was introduced over five years ago, though is not being enforced nearly as strictly as most campaigners would like. There’s even a website that details full information about the restaurants visited and inspected by EHOs – a site that is seldom used by consumers anywhere in the UK. The fact that it is even necessary to have to make such checks in this day and age troubles many local government representatives, though is nonetheless inevitable.
Far from viewing all eateries with scepticism, experts have gone on-record once again to advise the public that the overwhelming majority of food outlets are rated with three stars or higher. One and two-star ratings are comparatively rare, though have nonetheless been awarded to thousands up and down the country in light of somewhat severe lapses in food hygiene standards.
It is a very simple check to make and one that customers should be doing more routinely, so argues the Food Standards Agency. Nevertheless, until it becomes a comprehensively enforced law to make these ratings glaringly obvious and position them where customers simply cannot miss them, unknowingly eating in unsafe food outlets is a problem that is likely to continue for some time.