FSA Celebrates Five Years Of Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

Public Health Lawyers Call For Further Regulation To Ensure Ratings Are Displayed

24.11.2015

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS).

The ratings from 0 - 5 are awarded to businesses supplying or serving food direct to consumers such as restaurants, takeaways, cafés, pubs, hotels, schools, hospitals, care homes, supermarkets and other retailers.

According to the FSA’s latest statistics, more than 93 per cent of businesses have achieved a rating of 3 or more. It indicated that 83.7 per cent of outlets owned by the biggest high street food chains were given the best food hygiene rating of five.

Specialist public health experts at Irwin Mitchell, who have represented hundreds of UK consumers that have suffered illness issues as a result of hygiene problems, have welcomed the improvements in food safety that have been made since the introduction of the FSA ratings five years ago.

The FSA has also launched a campaign to encourage consumers to look for ratings when choosing somewhere to eat or buy food products.

Amandeep Dhillon, a Partner and expert public health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who currently represents over 300 people affected by a norovirus outbreak at a Toby Carvery restaurant in Exeter, said:

Expert Opinion
“The fact that 93 per cent of businesses have been given a rating of 3 or higher is of course a positive step, but it also indicates more needs to be done to bring every business up to the best possible standards.

“We would encourage consumers to look for the FSA ratings stickers when considering where to buy food products however, it is important to note that currently it is not a legal requirement for businesses in England and Wales to display their ratings.

“We are also calling for local authorities to make it a legal requirement for shops, restaurants and takeaways to display their hygiene rating certificates, helping provide consumers with more information and enabling them to make a more informed decision.

“Hopefully, by taking this step, businesses will be persuaded to make positive hygiene standard changes, which will hopefully lead to illness problems being avoided in the future.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner