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Food Hygiene Rating Scheme Extended in Wales
For the first time food producers and wholesalers in Wales will have to display food hygiene ratings after the statutory rating scheme was extended to cover trade to trade businesses. The announcement came on the first anniversary of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act which introduced the UK’s first statutory scheme. Companies failing to display a rating will be subject to a fixed penalty fine of £200 or prosecution.
The law will also apply to requests from customers for rating information in face to face situations and over the phone. Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething said; “This is an important step, which will provide added assurance to businesses and consumers. The requirement for businesses to display their food hygiene stickers is having the effect we envisaged in driving up food hygiene ratings, I’m delighted to see the numbers of food businesses with a lower rating decreasing. This is good for the people in Wales and for food businesses in Wales.”
More than 50% of businesses assessed under the scheme in the last year have achieved a five star rating with 8% considered to be unsatisfactory. Last month the Northern Ireland Assembly introduced their own Food Hygiene Rating Bill which if passed will introduce the second compulsory scheme in the UK. The Food Standards Agency however anticipate it may take a number of years before England follows suit.