Food hygiene in Wales improves

Hygiene standards in food businesses across Wales are improving, according to a new report issued by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In the two years since the introduction of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in Wales, there has been an improvement in standards across the board, said the FSA.

Recently captured data showed there were now more than 83% of businesses with a rating of three, four or five compared to the recorded 77% last year. As a result, the number of businesses that received a rating of zero, one or two have gone down from 23% to around 17%.

Around 20,000 food businesses all around Wales have been inspected by local authorities since October 2012. By the end of this year it is hoped more than 90% of food businesses in Wales will have a rating.

Director of the Welsh FSA Steve Wearne said: “These findings are encouraging and show that the scheme is having the desired effect of driving up standards of food hygiene in businesses across Wales, but work doesn’t stop here.

“There is still room for improvement as every business is capable of achieving a rating of five. Food safety officers will follow up with zero-, one- and two-rated businesses to help them improve their ratings. Importantly as well, consumers now have information to help them make informed choices about where they eat or buy food. Many businesses are displaying their stickers. If your favourite restaurant or takeaway isn’t doing so, you should ask them for their rating.”

The Agency is working closely with the Welsh Government to build on the success of the scheme. The Welsh Government’s Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Bill proposes introduction of a mandatory requirement for food business operators to display their rating stickers from late 2013.

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