Look before you book for the most hygienic Christmas dining experience
Release date: 9 November 2017
Great food and a convivial atmosphere are usually the perfect ingredients for a memorable meal out during the festive season - but don’t forget about the food hygiene rating. Whatever cuisine you prefer when dining out this Christmas in the Cotswolds, the District Council recommends that you should choose one of the 749 eateries with a rating of 3 or more.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme assesses food businesses on their hygiene standards, based on inspections carried out by Environmental Regulatory Services officers on behalf of Cotswold District Council. Businesses in the area are rated on a scale ranging from 0 (‘urgent improvement necessary’) to a top rating of 5 (‘very good’).
Over 96% of food businesses included in the scheme within Cotswold District have a food hygiene rating of 3 or above. In fact, over 65% have achieved the highest rating of 5, and less than 4% are rated at 2 or below.
Whether you’re planning a festive meal out with family, friends or work colleagues or just grabbing a quick lunch when out Christmas shopping please remember to check the food hygiene rating too and look before you book! Green and black food hygiene rating stickers should be displayed on windows and doors to find out how businesses in the district are rated. If you can’t see a sticker, then ask staff or check online at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.
Nina Purcell, Director of Local Delivery at the Food Standards Agency says:
“You need to consider a lot of things when picking the perfect venue for your Christmas party, but please don’t forget about the food hygiene rating. It’s very easy to check on our website or just ask the business. We recommend food businesses with at least a ‘3’ and most food businesses are achieving this. There are plenty of potential regrets at the work Christmas party, but you can help to ensure food poisoning isn’t one of them.”
Cllr Sue Coakley, CDC’s Cabinet Member for the Environment adds:
“We are well blessed with an impressive range of excellent food businesses in the Cotswolds and the vast majority are rated 3 or above under the food hygiene rating scheme. This makes it easy to choose an establishment that takes food hygiene seriously. Food poisoning is the last thing anyone wants as an unexpected Christmas present – or at any time of the year.
“For food businesses a high score for hygiene can be extremely beneficial. Checking a sticker in the window or looking up the establishment’s rating online will reassure existing customers and also help entice new ones over the door.”
Food Hygiene Ratings for the Cotswolds can be found on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website www.food.gov.uk/ratings or through the Cotswold District Council website via /residents/environment/environmental-health/food-hygiene-ratings/
Frequently asked questions and answers about the Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme can be found on the FSA website www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/hygiene-rating-schemes/rating-schemes-faqs-en
- Cotswold District Council and the FSA want to:
- Give consumers information about hygiene standards in food outlets so that they can make informed choices.
- Drive up hygiene standards in food businesses.
- Reduce the incidence of foodborne illness (recent research estimated that there were 500,000 cases from the main causes of foodborne illness. Including all types of food borne disease could double this figure to nearer 1 million cases).
- The rating scheme covers businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, takeaways, cafés, pubs, hotels, schools, hospitals, care homes, supermarkets and other retailers.
- There are six hygiene ratings ranging from ‘0’ (urgent improvement required) at the bottom to ‘5’ (very good) at the top.
- The scheme is designed so that all businesses, no matter how small can achieve the top rating by meeting (not exceeding) the legal requirements and any improvements needed to get a higher rating are no more than is required by law.