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BBC Survey Finds Welsh Food Businesses Hiding Hygiene Ratings

February 9, 2015

An undercover survey by BBC Wales ‘X Ray’ programme has found that food premises with low food hygiene ratings are failing to display their scores to the public.

Researchers targeted businesses in the Vale of Glamorgan, finding that none of those given a zero rating under the scheme were displaying their score.

The results are a concern to the Food Standards Agency as spokesperson, Ray Wilkins admitted “It’s clearly not what the legislation was introduced for. Customers can expect to see stickers in windows and they can expect an honest answer from food business operators,” he said. “For those businesses that are not prepared to partake in it there are sanctions and they should be applied.”

Wales is currently the only part of the United Kingdom where the display of ratings is compulsory with a £200 fixed penalty fine in place for businesses that fail to comply. Vale of Glamorgan Council is now investigating those premises highlighted in the study.

Despite the problems encountered by the BBC the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme which was introduced in 2013 has resulted in more than half of the 25,000 food businesses in Wales being awarded a maximum five star rating.