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Food Hygiene Ratings Five Years On

November 25, 2015

sandwichThe Food Standards Agency has been celebrating the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

After the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act in 2005, a number of local authorities began to make inspection details available to the public, but it wasn’t until 2008 that an official scheme was approved by the FSA and finally put into use two years later.

Whilst there is still no requirement to show ratings in England, the display of food hygiene ratings in Wales became compulsory in November 2013.

Latest data from the FSA looking at 20 of the UK’s largest high street chains shows that both JD Wetherspoons and Pret a Manger had the highest percentage of five star ratings. Of 732 JD Wetherspoons outlets, 93.1% achieved five stars while 244 Pret a Manger shops achieved the same rating percentage. Figures were based on businesses with a published food hygiene rating on 4th November 2015.

Catriona Stewart, FSA lead for the scheme, said, “Our latest data shows how seriously high street chains take food hygiene. We want to build on the success of the scheme over its first five years and reduce consumer risk even further by encouraging people to ‘look before they book’. Telling people about hygiene standards in food outlets in a way that is clear and easy to understand has made a real difference. We’ve seen standards improve and more and more businesses are able to show their customers that they take food hygiene seriously.”