A national food hygiene rating scheme was launched today by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to help people choose the safest places to eat or do their food shopping.
The aim of the bright green and black food hygiene stickers is reduce the one million cases of food poisoning suffered by people each year by showing a rating from zero to five.
The stickers will enable people to see how good or bad the hygiene standards are at places where they eat or buy food. Inspections will be carried out by local council food safety officers, the hygiene standards will be rated from zero (meaning urgent improvement necessary) to five (very good).
Research by the FSA shows 86 per cent of the public consider hygiene standards to be extremely important when eating out, outweighing other considerations such as price and location.
The hygiene rating given a restaurant, takeaway, cafe or food shop will give customers a look at the areas they don’t normally get to see, such as the kitchen. The ratings are available to view at at food.gov.uk/ratings.
Jeff Rooker, Chair of the FSA, said: ‘Many people suffer from food poisoning every year, but we shouldn’t feel we are gambling with our health when we eat out.